Fourth station: Jesus meets his mother
Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed, so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul too”
I see you, Jesus, as you meet your mother. Mary is there, making her way through the crowded street, with many persons all around her. The only thing that makes her different from the others is the fact that she is there to accompany her son. Something we see every day: mothers accompanying their children to school or to the doctor, or bringing them to work. Yet Mary is different from other mothers: she is accompanying her son to his death. To see your own child die is the worst, the most unnatural thing that anyone could imagine for a person, and it is all the more atrocious if that child is dying at the hands of the law. How unnatural and unjust is this scene before my eyes! My own mother instilled in me a sense of justice and trust in life, but what I see today has nothing to do with that: it is senseless and painful.
I see you, Mary, as you look at your poor child. He bears on his back the marks of the scourge and he is forced to carry the weight of the cross; soon, no doubt, in his exhaustion he will fall beneath it. Yet you knew that, sooner or later, this would happen. It was prophesied to you, but now that it is taking place, everything is different. That is how things are: we are always unprepared before the harsh realities of life. Mary, now you are sorrowful, as any woman would be in your place, but you do not despair. Your eyes are undimmed; you are not forlorn and downcast. You are radiant even in your sorrow, because you have hope. You know that this journey of your son will not be a one-way trip. You know, you feel, as only mothers can feel, that soon you will see him again.
I ask you, Lord: help us always
to keep before our eyes the example of Mary,
who accepted the death of her son
as a great mystery of salvation.
Help us to act with our gaze fixed on the good of others
and to die in the hope of the resurrection,
conscious that we are never alone
or abandoned by God or Mary,
the loving mother ever concerned for her children.
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6