(From the Stations of the Cross by Brother Mickey McGrath, OSFS)
Fourth Station: Jesus Meets his Afflicted Mother
Leader: O holy Christ, we worship you, we adore you;
People: Your blessed Mother wept at the sight of your pain.
As your mother saw your bruised, bloody and scourged body, she thought of an angel that spoke to her over three decades ago. "Greetings, favored one!" the angel had told her. What favor was there in this? How could the crowds who cheered triumphantly upon her son's entry into Jerusalem now mock him? Her son had fulfilled the angel's words--he had lifted up the lowly, and he had filled the hungry with the hope of good things--love and trust in our eternal Maker.
"O Adonai!" she must have cried. "Come to the help of your servant Israel! Where is the promise--the promise you gave to Abraham and our fathers? Where is the promise you made to me, that my son would reign over the house of Jacob, and where is his kingdom that has no end? All I see is my beloved son, who suffers unspeakably. Why have you deserted him, O Lord, and why have you deserted me? My son will either die on the cross that he carries or die on the streets like a beaten stray dog. I beg you to come to the aid of my Son, my Lord, my rock, and my Redeemer."
Leader: Not only did the whips and spears pierce your Son
People: But each mark upon him wounded his mother's soul.
Leader: Let us pray.
(a brief period of silence is observed.)
Eternal God of power and might;
We so often think of you as "our Father."
But you are both Father and Mother.
As we think about how the Blessed Mother of Jesus
longed to cradle her hurting son in her arms,
and spare him his fate,
teach us in our most desperate moments
to be unafraid to cling to you
like a fearful child clinging to a mother's bosom.
May we always feel your nurturing love, O Lord,
even when the world seems turned upside down.
Holy and Mighty,
Holy immortal one,
Have mercy on us.