Thursday, April 9, 2009
At the Annunciation, the angel announced that Mary would receive God in her own body and give flesh to him. Now, in the unutterable silence of Good Friday, the Mother of God once again receives the Word of God as her divine Son is taken down from the cross and placed in her arms. "How can this be, since I do not know the man?" The Madonna of the pieta is Our Lady of Compassion. That pitiful portrait of Mother and son proclaims to the world that "nothing is impossible for God." Nothing.
Even in the sickening shadow of the cross, the power of the Most High continues to overshadow the Blessed Virgin Mary. In her maternal arms, the Mother of the God cradles all our failure, our desperation, our isolation, our alienation, our regret, our remorse, our sorrow, our suffering, our nothingness, our desolation, our defeat.
In embracing her crucified child, Mary is not clutching at lifelessness. For after Christ's death, his divine person continued to assume both his soul and his body. Such a heart-wrenching scene testifies to the truth that the one antidote to the tyranny and viciousness of death and despair is true, deep union with Jesus Christ.
This terrible moment on Golgotha appears as a second Epiphany. Like the three kings, we have followed - not a luminous star, but - the sun blackened by an eclipse to this place of horror. Here, as once did the Magi, we will find "the child with Mary, his Mother." Here, like them, we will prostrate ourselves and do homage and open up the coffers of our empty, hurting hearts. But only if we renounce the murderous world of King Herod. Come, let us adore him!
(The Way of Our Sorrowful Mother by Father Peter John Cameron, O.P.)