Reflections on the Seven Last Words of Christ
Father Matthew J. Albright
3. “Woman, behold your son. Behold your mother.”
The pain of losing a child to an unjust and horrible death is a feeling we cannot imagine if we have not lived through it ourselves. On Calvary, Mary sees Jesus, her little boy, torn apart and rejected by the very people He came to save. As Simeon had foretold, a sword of sorrow pierced Mary’s heart. Even before Jesus had died, she was in sorrow seeing Him brutally tortured. Then, Jesus asks her to accept a replacement, her son’s best friend, John, as her caregiver until the end of her earthly life. There is no replacement for her only child, her first-born son, the pride and joy of her youth, the fruit of her obedience to God. Mary’s gracious acceptance of the direction Jesus gave to her and to John is a sign of God’s plan still at work. She accepts John as her son because she always trusts the will of God, even when no human mother could accept another as a replacement for her child. She says “yes” because this is part of the divine plan. John took her into his home.
4. “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?”