When Jesus saw his mother
and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her,
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son.”
Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.”
Standing, in the midst of suffering, requires strength. Mary and John stand at the foot of the Cross with the strength that comes from faith. Although their hearts are broken because their beloved is dying, they know, in faith, that Jesus is victorious in love. Jesus is communicating divine love in these last moments of His life. This is why and how Jesus gives them to one another. He is not simply seeking to ensure that they take care of one another, so that He can have peace of mind. It is so much deeper than this. Jesus is establishing a new, deeper spiritual kinship. Otherwise, it would make no sense for Him to say to His mother,“Woman” or “behold your son”. And, it would make no sense for Him to say to John, “Behold, your mother”. We are witnessing the overflow of divine love.
I invite you to approach our tabernacle at the main altar in the sanctuary. This tabernacle used to sit empty in our Lady Chapel. It now sits prominently at our main altar. Our Parish Administrator has lovingly cleaned and polished it. It has probably not been this radiant since it was crafted many years ago. (Thank you, Mark!) Details have come to life: swirling clouds and Holy Land–scape, and above all, Mary and John, co-suffering with Jesus, standing by faith.
The refreshment of this tabernacle door is a metaphor for the cleaning and polishing of our hearts currently underway by the Holy Spirit. We are entering a new chapter in the life of our parish. Our prayer for renewal and growth is an expression of our desire to hasten what God is doing in and through us. Our purpose is to grow in faith, hope and love, that is, to enter more deeply into the life shared by Mary and John—who journey with us. And, our purpose is to grow in number as a parish, sharing the gifts bestowed upon us. It is in sharing the gifts that we receive that they bear fruit.
Lead us into our neighborhoods to be agents of holy transformation,
and, with apostolic zeal, to bring back new parishioners
with whom we may worship you as an awesome God.
Give us hearts wide open to welcome them
and all those who come through our doors.
And, by the power of your Spirit, may we, together,
“go and make disciples of all nations.”