Monday, February 4, 2019
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing beside her, He said to His mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then He said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. – John 19:25-27
This poignant moment at the crucifixion is one so very human, and I believe, illustrates what it means to be human yet divinely graced. I call this moment “The Weeping of the Three Marys“. The writer of John’s Gospel highlights these three women leaning upon each other in their grieving. I think it is a personal reflection on the personal qualities of John, the disciple who experienced deeply the love of Christ for him. It is as if Jesus were giving last instruction to John to now turn that love to Christ’s widowed mother, “This Holy Love we shared John, now share that same Holy Love with others.”
Holy Love is a love of a certain quality. Holy Love is both very human and very Divine. Holy Love is deeply human and deeply Divine. Holy Love is a relational love of a soulful kind. And sadly, I find that Holy Love among Christians is not as common as one would hope it to be.
How does Christ, and in turn John, describe this Holy Love? In terms of welcoming another into the home of one’s life and there abiding together. It is in this living together with Christ and with others that Holy Love matures into its intended maturity. As we abide together our Love deepens as we yield to one another, becoming more and more One with each other even with our distinctions. But too often, Christians begin to obsess with proving each other wrong even to the point of condemnation. Too often, we begin to obsess with proving ourselves righteous by exalting ourselves as the keepers of the definition of the Holy, even to the point of casting out the others out of the family. Too often, we choose to live in the smoke of the battlefield rather than in the warmth of the Spirit’s hearth and heart.
I love the subtle understatement of the relationship of John and Mary … “and from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.” I find that reference to his own home … might be taken literally, but is to me more meaningfully when taken metaphorically.
Loved Ones, who actually abides with Christ? Just you? Just others like you? Or are there others not so much like you?
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz