First reading Hebrews 5:7-9

He learned to obey and he became the source of eternal salvation

During his life on earth, Christ offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.
 
 

Responsorial Psalm 30(31):2-6,15-16,20

Save me, O Lord, in your love.
 
In you, O Lord, I take refuge.
  Let me never be put to shame.
In your justice, set me free,
  hear me and speedily rescue me.
 
Be a rock of refuge for me,
  a mighty stronghold to save me,
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
  For your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.
 
Release me from the snares they have hidden
  for you are my refuge, Lord.
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
  It is you who will redeem me, Lord.
 
But as for me, I trust in you, Lord;
  I say: ‘You are my God.
My life is in your hands, deliver me
  from the hands of those who hate me.’
 
How great is the goodness, Lord,
  that you keep for those who fear you,
that you show to those who trust you
  in the sight of men.

 

Gospel John 19:25-27

‘Woman, this is your son’

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus 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.
 
 

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At the cross, there stood Mary

The well-known hymn, Stabat Mater, starts with these words: “At the cross her station keeping, Stood the mournful Mother weeping, Close to Jesus to the last…”. Mary suffered because she deeply loved Jesus, her son. As we contemplate Mary standing at the foot of the cross, we realise that we, too, have stood at the cross of loved ones and witnessed their pain and suffering. We have suffered alongside them. Thus, “to love is to suffer and there can be no love otherwise” (Dostoevsky).
 
In this journey of loving, we are not alone. “This is your mother”. Jesus gives us His beloved mother to be our spiritual mother. In our journey of love and suffering, we can look to Mary and ask her to pray for us and help us to dare to accept suffering as a consequence of loving deeply.
 
Reflective question:
How can I open myself to accept suffering that loving others inevitably brings?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.