The Third Word — “Woman, here is your Son. Here is your Mother”
Everyone in this world has two families: The family we are born into and the family we make. Our biological family is only the beginning of the journey. Along the way we form deep friendships, fall in love, and perhaps have children and grandchildren. This “new” family is the family of our choosing. If we make wise choices, this new family can become a tremendous blessing in our lives.
Jesus was born into a humble family who lived in the city of Nazareth. His parents were Mary and Joseph and, in all likelihood, he had brothers and sisters as well. When it was time to begin his ministry, Jesus formed a new family consisting of 12 disciples, Mary of Magdala and others who answered his call to fish for people. This new family would learn how to love and care for each other and, eventually, love and care for the world. We are also a part of this big, happy, and sometimes dysfunctional family! We also try our best to love and care for each other, and love and care for the world.
As we hear this third word from the cross, we realize Jesus is giving us a final lesson about what it means to be family. In the midst of his own pain and suffering Jesus had the presence of mind to make sure his own mother would be taken care of after his death. This kind of deep compassion reminds us that we are called to push beyond our own pain and tribulation, and care for those around us. It’a easy to be self-centered in life but Jesus shows us another way. We are called to die to self and rise to a new life that includes taking care of our neighbors both near and far. We are all connected. We are all family. Let us love one another as Christ has loved us!
Suffering Servant, as you endured the agony of the cross, you continued to care for others, including your mother. Teach us how to be people of self-sacrificing love, not only with our parents, but with everyone who is in need. We ask this in your name. Amen.
Copyright ©2017 by David Eck