I thought often about the Thirteenth Station of the Cross while our son was deployed to the Middle East with the National Guard. He was in dangerous territory, and I wondered what it would be like if his battered, dead body was returned to the US and laid in my arms.
Thanks be to God, that didn’t happen.
But, I did ask the Blessed Mother – repeatedly – how she could ever have stood it for herself. I could not by any means imagine what it was like for her. She not only held her Son’s dead Body, but she watched all of the torment and agony that led up to that point.
That’s incomprehensible to me.
Yet, Mary did it. Mary accompanied her Son through his entire Passion, every horrifying step, every excruciating blow. And then she stood beneath his Cross as his Precious Blood drained from his holy Body and soaked the earth. She watched him take his final breath and surrender himself into the hands of his Father.
Mary had to let go of her Son.
Perhaps we’ve never had to let go of a son or daughter. But, we have had to let go of others we love, whether that be through death or distance of some kind. It’s painful, to say the least.
What got Mary through the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus is the same that will get you and I through loss of any kind.
Mary’s faith was profound. She trusted in the Fathers goodness, mercy, and power beyond all human imagination. She was able to let go, not because of her own power, but because of the power that she allowed the Triune God to have over her.
She surrendered herself into the Fathers hands just as her Jesus did.
Let’s pray for that same grace as we meditate today on the Thirteenth Station of the Cross: Jesus is Laid in the Arms of His Mother.