tissot-the-descent-from-the-cross-525x724                                       The Descent of the Cross by artist James Tissot

In the aftermath of the violent death of Jesus, was silence…….. as Mary held the lifeless body of her son. During the Triduum I always think of Mary. I try to visualize all of the accounts of Jesus suffering, his passion, his death and resurrection through the eyes of his beloved mother. I meditate on the words written by Richard Furey, (Praying the Stations with Mary the Mother of Jesus)

What greater pain is there for a mother than to see her son die right before her eyes! I, who had brought this savior into the world and watched him grow, stood helplessly beneath his cross as he lowered his head and died. His earthly anguish was finished, but mine was greater than ever. Yet, this had to be and I had to accept it, so I stood by and I mourned silently. The crowd had gone; the noise had stopped. I stood quietly with one of Jesus’ friends and looked up at the dead body of our savior, my son. Then two men took the body from the cross and placed it in my arms. A deep sorrow engulfed my being. Yet, I also felt deep joy. Life had ended cruelly for my son, but it had also brought life to all of us. I knew this had to be, and I prayed silently. We brought Jesus’ body to a tomb and I arranged it there myself, silently weeping, silently rejoicing. I took one more look at my loving son, and then walked out. They closed the tomb and before I left, I thought, I knew this had to be….it had to be for you! I would wait in faith silently.

michelangelo_pietaPieta Statue St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

How beautiful he has captured what Mary may have said to herself. I can’t imagine the depth of sorrow that pierced her heart, witnessing the death of her son. I imagine her cleaning him for burial and examining every inch of his body as she did when she birthed him. What gentle care she gave him preparing him to be wrapped up tight and placed in the tomb as if her very loving touch was able to heal him. How hard it must have been for her to leave that tomb carrying with her a heavy, broken heart. 

This Holy Saturday, I sit and wait with her, holding my faith and praying in silence for the resurrection, the promise of new beginnings and an everlasting life. Searching for ways to love more my spouse, children and those God has placed in my life, and I look for ways to let go of situations that weight me down and prevent me from joy. May the bondage of fear be torn open and destroyed with the torn temple and graves that God crushed to bring new life. The silence in waiting has begun……………..


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