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Follow Christ With Mary to the Foot of the Cross, Part 2

Liturgical readings of the season from the votive Mass of the Lenten season: ‘The Blessed Virgin Mary at the Foot of the Cross II’

In the previous two Lenten meditations, we discussed Mary as a woman of faith who followed Jesus from the first moment of his existence to the cross and beyond. Mary spoke her yes in faith, even though she did not know where it would lead. Today, we will see that her faithful yes led her to the foot of the cross. Mary was held accountable for her yes. She was given the grace of God to have the strength to do so. The most severe moment of reckoning was her loyal adherence to Jesus, even to the cross. By her presence at the cross, she was allowed “to be a partner in his Passion.”

The opening prayer of the Marian Liturgy:

Lord our God,
you place at the side of your suffering Son
his mother to suffer with him
so that the human race,
deceived by the wiles of the devil,
might become a new and resplendent creation.
Grant that your people may put aside their inheritance of sin
and put on the newness of life
won by Christ the Redeemer.

Mary was to stand at Jesus’ side as Eve had stood at Adam’s side. By Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection, new life was to be given to the world. As we pray in the preface, Jesus established the family of the Church, a gift for the healing of the world.

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In your divine wisdom
you planned the redemption of the human race
and decreed that the new Eve
should stand by the cross of the new Adam
as she became his mother
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
so, by a new gift of your love,
she was to be a partner in his Passion,
and she who had given him birth
without the pains of childbirth
was to endure the greatest of pains
in bringing forth to new life
the family of your Church.

The Gospel of the Marian liturgy is John 19:25-27. We quote the first verse:

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.

The beloved disciple was there, too. Jesus alone died and redeemed! Yet Jesus was not alone in his dying. Those who loved him were standing by, sharing as deeply as any can, the suffering of the Savior. They gave their yes; they remained with him. They were accountable and found faithful.

We pray with the Church:

Lord God,
protect your servants …
as we call to mind Mary’s suffering with Christ,
grant that by carrying our cross each day
we may come to share in his resurrection,
for he lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

In carrying our cross, we show our accountability. We reveal God’s grace as grace as gifted our lives.

– Excerpted from Lenten Weekly Meditations by Sr. M. Jean Frisk, I.S.S.M. included on the All About Mary website.

Image: Detail of “Mary at the Cross” by Edward B. Ostendorf, 1987. From the Marian Library Art and Artifacts Collection

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