3.13.2008

Stations of the Cross VI >> f2f

Luke 2:34-35, John 19:25-27

It's hard to imagine any sorrow greater than that of a parent burying a child. What loss can be greater than separation from one you have hoped for, birthed in joy, nursed and discipline and come to love and depend on? I've known people whose children have died, and there is a sense in which a big part of them died, as well.

What must Mary be thinking as she sees Jesus and his cross? Are there words for the anguish she must feel? Mary's strong faith and trust in God allowed her to turn her body and self over fully to bear Jesus, yet that trust must be near the breaking point. Simeon's words when the child was brought to the temple, so full of promise and strength, must cut her soul more painfully now than the figurative sword that he predicted.

As Mary wonders what she could have done, or said, to spare her child this torment, I am drawn to ponder how our species' failure to accept God's good gifts and order made this moment necessary. I marvel at the depth of love that would count execution an acceptable cost to repair that relationship, and I wonder at the shallowness of our humanity that sustains the breach.

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