Introduction: this short text of John 19:25-27 has a deep meaning for the Christian community as well as for each baptised Christian. To help us understand the reading you are invited to picture yourself in the text, be part of it and allow it to provoke in you any feeling or sentiment, do not repress them but express them freely in prayer and in the presence of Mary and Jesus.
You have given us your Son
As the most the precious gift
given to humanity.
Lord we thank you!
Lore Jesus you too have given us
The precious gift of salvation through
Your sacrifice on the cross.
Lord we thank you!
Lord Jesus have given us
the precious gift of the Holy spirit.
Lord we thank you!
And thank you for giving us Mary as
A Mother and carer.
1. Read: John 19:25-27 read the text slowly and listen attentively with the ‘ear of your heart’. What word, sentence or phrase stands out for you?
2. Reflect: read the text again and pay attention of what touches you; why is it meaningful for you. What thought or reflection comes to you.
3. Respond: read the text again but this time respond spontaneously to the word of God. In other words, make a dialogue with God what comes from within you. What gift does this text lead you to ask for from the Lord?
4. Stay with the Word: read the text a final time and rest in the word. Allow God to speak to you in deep silence. Do not say anything just listen to God’s words. What is He saying?
5. Take now the word, sentence, or phase, into your daily life/activity; allow it to become part of you. Always listen to it, reflect on it, pray over it and rest on it as time allows during the day. Then allow the Word leads you to action.
Conclude your ‘Lectio Divina’ with the ‘Our Father’…
Reflection: Jesus did not leave us orphans he left us a Mother who became the Mother of believers. We rejoice because as Christians we belong to the Family of Jesus who has God as a Father, Mary as a Mother and we as his brothers and Sisters. As children need father and mother to grow strong and healthy, so we believers need both the heavenly Father and Mary to grow in holiness to reach our eternal home.
Central Message: before Jesus gave up his spirit “he said to his mother ’Woman this is your son’. Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother’. And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home”.
- “Woman this is your son”. Mary stood near the cross of Jesus. St John Evangelist is the only one, among the other three Gospel, that specified that the Mother and the disciples were near the cross of Jesus. The other Gospels stressed that the Mother or the women or the disciples stood there watching at a distance (Mt 27:55-56), (Mk 15:40-41), (Lk 23:49). This is of important significance because it shows that Mary was always close to her Son in the most important moments of His life, as she was at that hour of our salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus’ life on the cross. We can imagine the kind of suffering she went through standing there at the foot of the cross as she saw her only Son being executed unjustly on the Cross. One wonders what went through her mine at that horrific moment of her son’s death. But she was standing up there, like a strong woman who has continued to believe, to hope and to have trust in God, even in that most difficult moment. ‘Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved’; the verbs ‘seeing and looking’ are significant in St John’s Gospel because, according to scholars, they indicate the mission of the character who has been seen. John the Baptist for example saw Jesus passing by and said to his disciples “Look, there is the Lamb of God” (Jn 1:35). So, it is given the description of Jesus’ mission: to save the world by sacrificing himself, as the Lamb of God, on the altar of the Cross. Jesus then, having seen his Mother, gives her mission: ‘woman, Look, there is your son’. Her mission was to become the mother of the beloved disciple who represents the believers and the whole Church. From the moment of the cross a new family of Jesus has been created. And those who belong to his family are those who accept and do the will of the Father (cfr. Matt 12:50).
- “This is your mother” the title ‘woman’ that Jesus gave to his mother signifies an invitation to Mary to open her heart to the spiritual maternity of his beloved disciple, and at the same time an invitation to his beloved disciple to open his heart to receive her as a Mather and be her child. The beloved disciple is the one who understood the mystery of Jesus and who always remained faithful to his Master in all trials of his life, up to His death on the cross, as he stood there near His mother. He is the one who receives and accepts unquestioningly his Word and obeys his commandments. He represents all the disciples of Jesus, including you and me, each of us is loved by Him. Jesus giving his mother to John means that Mary will follow the same role of looking after us, just as she did with her Son Jesus. We are then under the loving and tender care of Mary our Mother. It has been interpreted that John represents the Church too, as the body of Christ, and so Mary remains the Mother and carer of all Christians. Jesus has given and entrusted his disciples and the Church His Mother: “and from that hour the disciple took her into his home” (v.27). That means that the disciple made a space for her in his home and heart, just as she made a space in her heart and body for God in his incarnation. The disciple took the woman as very dear and valuable person. There a new relationship began between the Mother and the disciple, that is the new family of Jesus.
Some questions for our reflexion:
1. From the text and reflection what struck you the most and why?
2. Jesus has given everything, his life, his mother, and salvation. What is it you would sacrifice for the Lord?
3. what can you learn from Mary and John as they are invited to open their hearts to receive one another as a gift?