THE SERVANT GENERAL
Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
Today’s reading: John 19:25-27
What a poignant scene it was as Mary stood by the cross where
Jesus hung crucified and dying. But there, racked by extreme
pain, Jesus uttered those two sweet sentences that give us
cause for great joy. To his mother he said, “Woman,
behold, your son.” To his disciple John he said, “Behold,
These are very powerful words with very profound implications.
Let us look more closely at them.
by Jesus at the Cross
behold, your son.”
Toward the end of his earthly life, uttering his most important
last words while on the cross, Jesus entrusted us to his mother,
and likewise entrusted his mother to us all. “When Jesus
saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said
to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then
he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’”
What Jesus did was a fruit of love. He loved his mother, and
he loved John his disciple. Now that he was leaving the earth,
his act of entrusting one to the other was designed to keep
them in his love, as they manifested his love to each other,
the love that he commanded his disciples to have for one another.
And what was the response of John? “And from that hour
the disciple took her into his home.” (Jn 19:27b).
This is the same response we are to have towards Mary. We
are to love and honor her, and we are to take her into our
Consider our family and life in Christ. We are all members
Now the Triune God is a family. There is the Father, there
is the Son, and there is the Spirit which is the love that
binds Father and Son together. But for our human needs, there
is another person that is crucial. That is the mother. And
she is Mary.
In fact, in the revelation of God’s plan to Mary, the
angel spoke of the involvement of the Trinity. “The
holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most
High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will
be called holy, the Son of God.” (Lk 1:35). The Father,
the Son, the Holy Spirit—all three persons in the Godhead
are part of the revelation of the divine plan to Mary. In
the mysterious ways of God, the Trinity, which is a divine
family, enables the integration of the human race into God’s
family through the instrumentality of a human mother.
Mary completes the divine family. And Mary completes our family
as God’s family, and our home as the dwelling place
of the Spirit.
A fundamental command of God is to honor our father and our
mother (Ex 20:12a). As the divine family, God is our Father,
Jesus our brother, and Mary our mother. We certainly honor
and worship God, and we also need to honor our mother Mary.
Thus we take her into our homes and more importantly into
Now Jesus did not entrust Mary to us only to complete the
divine family of which we are a part, but for Mary to care
for us, to guide us with her wisdom, to encourage us through
our trials. This is especially important as we go through
the tribulations and crosses of life. Jesus entrusted Mary
to us while he was nailed to the cross. Mary endured his passion,
crucifixion and death, and is honed by such suffering and
pain. In our own suffering and pain, she can truly empathize.
We are Jesus’ disciples, having a personal relationship
with him. But Mary has a role as mediatrix, a role she is
uniquely suited for. This is why Jesus entrusted us to her,
so that she will help bring him to us, and bring us to him.
And when Jesus gave John to his mother as her son, Jesus in
effect was saying that Mary should treat John in the same
way that she treated him. John is her son. He is to be looked
on as Jesus and treated as Jesus. Now since John represents
all of us, then Mary is also to treat us all as her children,
just as she treated her Son Jesus, and just as she treated
the beloved disciple John.
But there is more. Jesus gave Mary to John as his mother.
Now what was the relationship of Jesus the Son to Mary his
Being God, the whole created universe cannot contain Jesus.
As Solomon said, “the heavens and even the highest heavens
cannot contain him” (2 Chr 2:5b). But Jesus allowed
himself to be contained in Mary’s womb!
Jesus was obedient to God (Phil 2:8), and as God, Jesus the
Son would only need to be obedient to God the Father. But
Jesus became obedient to Mary his mother (Lk 2:51)!
What an awesome mother she is! Such is the mystery of Mary’s
place in the divine scheme of things. And now she is our mother
This truly is an astounding reality, that Mary is our mother
and we are her children. To what do we owe such a great blessing
and privilege?! Elizabeth herself could only wonder in awe
and ask, “And how does this happen to me, that the mother
of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk 1:43).
Well, Mary is not only visiting us for three months, but for
the rest of our lives, and even beyond, through eternity in
And in all these ought to lie our great joy. Just like John
in the womb of Elizabeth, we, the children of Mary, ought
to leap for joy (Lk 1:44)!
Forty More Days with Mary)
Mary into our Home
disciple took her into his home”
the cross, Jesus gave Mary his mother to John. “And
from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”
We too must take Mary into our homes. She will sanctify our
homes. She will enliven and brighten our lives. She will be
there in times of trouble to console us and assure us. She
will celebrate with us our joys. She will guide us with her
wisdom. She will intercede for us.
With Mary present, our homes will be places of sanctuary.
Our homes will be extensions of heaven, where she dwells.
Our homes will always have peace and joy.
The family is the design of God. The family is the key to
God’s plan for the life of the world. John Paul II said
that the future of humanity passes by way of the family. The
condition of families determines the condition of societies.
The Trinity itself is a family. There is the Father, there
is the Son, and there is the Spirit, representing the love
that binds and permeates the relationship of parent and child.
But what completes the family is a mother. That is Mary.
Further, Mary has a very unique relationship with the Trinity.
She is the daughter of the Father, the mother of the Son,
and the spouse of the Spirit.
When we take Mary into our home, we bring in her whole family!
We all become family together. We would have a Father, a mother,
a brother, and we would all be bound up in love, which is
the essence of family.
When Joseph learned about Mary’s pregnancy, he intended
to divorce her quietly so as not to expose her to shame. The
angel appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph,
son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into
your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child
has been conceived in her.” (Mt 1:20).
With Mary in our home, there too will be Jesus and the Holy
Spirit. With God and Mary, our homes will truly be pieces
of Kingdom ground. With Mary our mother watching over us,
we need never be afraid.
Mary is our mother. She belongs in our home.
from Forty Days with Mary)