Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother

February 22, 2016 Comments Off on Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother

 

Jesus meets his afficted mother.jpg

Artist: James Middleton

Mary Magdalene smote her breast and wept, the disciple whom He loved turned to stone, but where the Mother stood in silence nobody even dared look.

– Anna Akhmatova

As we travel the stations, we imagine meeting Jesus from many perspectives: As a cynical Roman official. As a bystander, weeping, pressed into helping, or graciously wiping Jesus’ face. As a friend and disciple, too terrified to acknowledge knowing Jesus. Among all of these encounters,  there is something unavoidably intimate about Jesus’ meeting with his mother. His broken body is the same body she worked over, nourished, watched grow, and loved day after day. I wonder if the pain of those closest to Jesus complicates his already complicated work. I wonder if he questions the rightness of the life he’s lived.

Recently, as we have heard name after name of black women and men who died by state violence, often the most tireless speakers have been the mothers of the victims. In Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God, Kelly Douglas Brown writes, “As the weeping of Rachel signals, there is a persistent dark side to God’s world. It is a world filled with a mother’s grief, which nothing in the world can console. This is a grief that does not go away. It is not to be dismissed or taken lightly. And God does not. For it is in the midst of this great suffering and grief that God comes.” Jesus’ mother’s grief reflects the grief of so many parents, lovers,  family members, and friends who watch those they love broken and lost to the violence of racism, poverty,  transphobia, war.

God is not distant from Jesus’ and Mary’s intimacy or from their pain. There is no place of silence, darkness, or shame where God does not look and, finally, stand.

– Aaron Miner

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