Jesus Meets His Mother: An expanded and interdependent discipleship

March 22, 2010 § 1 Comment

“Jesus’ meets his mother” is not a scriptural account of Jesus’ road to Calvary, for that we would look to John 19:26-27 when Jesus looks down from the cross to his mother and entrusts her to the beloved disciple, and John to her. Whether the meeting took place on the road or at the foot of the cross seems immaterial. Somewhere along the journey Jesus’ family of origin is connected with his chosen family of disciples. Biblical scholar Raymond Brown described the moment between mother and son as the moment in which the Blessed Virgin Mary “becomes a member of the ideal discipleship.” The account of Jesus’ birth family in the Gospels is often with tension: they worry that he has lost his mind, and he dismisses them as no more related than any other disciple. In the last hours of his life, Jesus’ commends those who love him to one another.

We can only imagine the tensions between family of origin and family of choosing, and yet in this moment we become one family, one community of faith. It is deeper than tolerance or even acceptance; we are meant to be an interdependent and expanding family, and expanding and interdependent discipleship. We each know Jesus (or think we do), now we are called to know one another. Jesus is condemned and soon to die; our relationship with Christ and with one another continues. Where are the crucifixions now in our world? And how will we who witness them relate to one another as we pray and hope and work for resurrection, for the strength of love and freedom to be revealed?

– The Rev. Mary Foulke

Jesus Meets His Mother

March 22, 2010 Comments Off on Jesus Meets His Mother

James Middleton painted the Stations of the Cross for the Church of St. Luke in the Fields. Learn more about this series in his artist’s statement. James writes how Jesus Meets His Mother had particular resonance for him as a he painted the series.

Jesus Meets His Mother: We lose when we hide burdens

March 18, 2010 § 2 Comments

As he made his way through the streets, Jesus encountered the yells and taunts of the crowd.  Delivered to the hands of his enemies, he must have been desperate for a friendly face when his path of suffering led him past a source of great comfort:  His mother, Mary.  Unable to intervene, Mary bears witness to his torturous journey as he is led to his death.  She sees, she understands, she does not turn away.  We find her here in the very moment when all that the Angel foretold back in the beginning comes to pass, when she must bend her faith to the imperative:  “Do not be afraid.”

Life can be unbearably challenging at times, and none of us are adequately prepared for those moments when we come to our own crossroads-when we must endure circumstances we wouldn’t wish on anyone.  We don’t know what tomorrow holds, and how or when it may challenge us and truly test our faith in God, in man, in our own ability to bear it away.  We are obviously tested by the stark and profound changes—losing a loved one, enduring great illness, surviving economic turmoil, comprehending the cruelty of the earthquake in Haiti.  But many of life’s greatest challenges creep up on us: the isolations of modern life, the indignities of aging, the unending grind of daily life in a crowded metropolis.  How do we find, hold onto, and cultivate faith in today’s world?

So many of us have been taught or fooled into believing that we have to maintain that façade, that we mustn’t let our burdens hang out for others to see and to share.  Don’t believe it, because this is a lie.  It takes great humility to reveal yourself in this way to others, to confide in them your pain and let them share your own ‘time of trials’.  We lose when we hide life burdens away and tell others everything is ok, when inside we feel opposite.  We lose out when we look away from the suffering of others—not only our friends and family, but those in the vast array of life around us:  that totally annoying neighbor, the homeless man, the victims of far-flung wars and disaster.

For me, it feels like my nearest experiences with God come through the simplest acts of being in true communion and sharing both the joyful and sorrowful journeys of others in the world around me.   Love binds us together and gives us strength.

– Jack Murray

Editors note: While Jesus Meets His Mother hasn’t been one of the stations traditionally walked at St. Luke’s, this station resonated with many of our bloggers. James Middleton also created a painting for this station. We’ll reflect on this station for a few days and then continue with the sixth station.

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