Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” (Jn 19: 25) These women, along with John, the beloved disciple of Christ, famously remained near Christ as He suffered and died on the cross. In doing so, these women and this disciple demonstrated not only the virtues of love and loyalty, but also courage. It took courage not to fall to pieces when the death of their beloved Teacher was imminent. And this courage was demonstrated not by blaming anyone or fighting back, as Peter did when he cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant at Christ’s arrest (Jn 18: 10); Courage was rather demonstrated by simply being there, next to Him, until He died. I am reminded today that when I face some trial or loss, like the loss of a loved one, I ask God for courage. And that means, simply, being there; being present to the circumstances and people involved. Let me be present, as I ask God for the courage to accept the things I cannot, and need not, change. Through these things He brings about change in me and others; He leads us, through the courage of the cross, to embrace the transforming light of the Resurrection.

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