Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” (Jn 19: 25-27)

In His final hour on the cross, Christ indicates to His mother that She is the mother of John, the beloved disciple, and to John Christ says that the disciple is Her son, who was to care for Her in Her old age. According to a traditional interpretation of the Orthodox Church, She is also Mother to all disciples, to all followers of Christ. As members of the Body of Christ, communing with Him and in Him, we also enter into His relationships, becoming daughters and sons of His Mother and His Father. When I see an icon of the Mother of God, holding Her Child, I also see Her holding each and every one of us, who can run to Her protection and care with our cuts and bruises.

Today I remember the simple truth that I need the love, protection and care of others, just as others need mine. In the community of faithful, in the Body of Christ, the “others” include those already departed, who no longer need our protection and care, but are ready to provide it with their intercessions. This includes, most prominently, the Mother of God, whose motherly love is consistently there for me. Today let me ask for Her protection and care on my cross-carrying journey, because She does not abandon Her child on the cross.

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