The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother

station 4

Tradition tells of Jesus meeting his mother on the way of the cross. She was most likely among those lining the roadway watching the event unfold. We can suppose many emotions present in her. 

“Jesus met his mother as he was being led to his execution. Mary did not faint; she did not scream in rage or despair; she did not try to prevent the soldiers from torturing him more. She looked him in the eyes and knew that this was his hour…Now his sorrow and her sorrow merged in a deep knowledge of the hour in which God’s plan of salvation was being fulfilled. Soon Mary will stand under the cross and Jesus will give her to John…with the words: ‘This is your mother’ (John 19:27). Mary’s sorrow has made her not only the mother of Jesus, but also the mother of all her suffering children She stood under the cross; she stands there still and looks into the eyes of those who are tempted to respond to their pain with revenge, retaliation, or despair…

As I look at Mary, a question rises up from the center of my being: ‘Can you remain standing in your pain and keep forgiving from your heart?’ I am wounded, wounded by experiences of betrayal and abandonment, wounded by my own self-rejection, wounded too by my inability to reach out to those around me, whether near or far away, and take away their pain…My true call is to look the suffering Jesus in the eyes and not be crushed by his pain, but to receive it in my heart and let it bear the fruit of compassion. I know that the longer I live, the more suffering I see, the more sorrow I will be asked to live. But it is this deep human sorrow that unites my wounded heart with the heart of humanity. It is in this mystery of union in suffering that hope is hidden.

The way of Jesus is the way into the heart of human suffering. It is the way Mary chose …In the midst of it all, I have to keep choosing the ever-narrowing path, the path of sorrow, the path of hope. (Henri Nouwen, Walk With Jesus)

Prayer of Praise:  “I adore you, O Christ, and I bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”

Fifth Station