Love Beyond the Cross – Embracing A Mother’s Legacy

As Jesus hung on the cross in agony, shedding his blood for the sins of the world, he turned his gaze toward his mother Mary and his beloved disciple John. In the midst of his suffering, Jesus uttered these words: “Woman, this is your son…, this is your mother” (John 19:26-27).

While addressing Mary as “Woman” may initially seem peculiar, it carries deep spiritual significance. The term “woman” connects Mary’s role to that of Eve, the mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20). Just as Eve’s disobedience brought sin into the world, Mary’s obedience opened the door for the Redeemer to enter and conquer sin and death.

Revelation 12 further expands this symbolism, portraying the “woman” not only as Mary but as the Church, the Bride of Christ. Jesus’ words from the cross, then, signify more than just a provision for physical needs; they symbolise that believers, through faith in Christ, become members of God’s family.

In our broken world today, so many are spiritually orphaned, lacking the motherly care and nurture of the Church. We face attacks on the family from the “ancient serpent” in the form of moral relativism, broken homes, addictions, and a culture of loneliness and despair. Now more than ever, we need the Church to take up its maternal role of providing sacrificial love, patient guidance and unwavering devotion to every searching soul.

As we journey through this Lenten season, let us reflect on how well we as Christ’s disciples are embodying this maternal spiritual care for others. Are we, like Mary, pointing others to do whatever Christ tells us through our faithful example? Do we stand by others in their darkest hours? Are our homes and communities fostering spiritual growth and healing?

Let us approach the cross this Lenten season with humble obedience like that of our spiritual mother Mary. By receiving Jesus’ words “This is your mother” into our hearts, we welcome the Church to nurture us and we commit ourselves to be the caring and protective hands of Mary in a hurting world. In doing so, we become more united to Christ, the son whose flesh was pierced for our redemption and whose voice from the cross continues to resonate: “This is your mother.”