Saturday 26 March 2016

The Grief of the Mother of God

Yesterday, at home, I prayed the Way of the Cross. I was reading this, from the Thirteenth Station:

Consider that, Our Lord having expired, two of His disciples, Joseph and Nicodemus, took Him down from the Cross, and placed Him in the arms of His afflicted Mother, who received Him with unutterable tenderness, and pressed Him to her bosom.

… when I was drawn into a vivid contemplation of the scene. I thought of Our Lady cradling His dear Body, the intensity of her emotion really unimaginable. But the thing that struck me particularly was that she would have been covered with His blood, on her face and hands and garments. Some of it would have been the congealed blood from His scourging, some from His crown of thorns; and, in addition, she of the pierced heart foretold by Simeon so many years before, would have received onto her clothing the water and blood that had flowed from the pierced Heart of her Son.

And then, I could picture stress and haste overtaking that little party of mourners. They must be back at their lodgings before the start of the Sabbath. I could see them hurrying away. Every one of them would have the marks of Christ’s blood, including the women because of their physical closeness to Mary, if not from touching the Body themselves. John, Nicodemus and Joseph must have been very much marked with it. It occurred to me, almost as an aside, and yet not: What happened to Our Lady’s bloodstained clothes?

Because of their contact with a dead body, they would have been ritually unclean for seven days, and therefore unable to observe the Passover. If they were bound by the ruling in Numbers, Chapter 19, they would have been obliged to observe it a month later. And, my goodness, their uncleanness, both ritual and literal, would have been evident to everyone who saw them on their way.

Well, after all that, I had shed many tears; as I have now, in writing it down, and as I did last night when recording the experience in my diary. I don’t write much on my blog in these strange days ( I think you know what I mean), but I thought I would share these thoughts.

God bless you, my kind readers, and I wish you a very happy Easter. Because it all comes right in the end.

Picture from, via Google Images.