The Seven Last Words of Christ: God’s Provision to the End
This is the second post in a series about the seven last words of Christ. To read the first post, click here.
At this point in the story, only a few faithful followers remained at the foot of the cross. At His feet stood three women and the Apostle John. We hope that we would have been standing there, too.
3. “Woman, behold, your son!”; “Son, Behold, your mother!” (Jn 19:25 – 27)
Even in His last moments, Jesus cared for us by giving us His mother to protect the whole Church, to be a mother to us all.
There was a point during college that my family was going through great difficulties. To confront the reality at home, I was challenged to step out of my role as “daughter” and be more of a foundation to my parents.
Around the same time, I was providentially challenged to deepen my devotion to Mary in a “Marian Consecration,” where the goal is to grow closer to Mary so that you can be led deeper relationship with her Son. What I learned: Anytime you ask Mary about herself, she shares it through the lens of her Son, reflecting His glory and helping you come to know Him more. Every part of her life draws you closer to her Son. It was because I was able to lean on Mary as a mother that I found strength to make it through the adversity of home.
Ultimately, Mary helped me turn to the love of the Father because, no matter our age, we are all children of God. We all need Mary to be our model of trust in the big things asked of us so that we to can be bridges to the Son.
4. “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46)
From the cross, Jesus understood more deeply than we ever could what it meant to be forsaken, abandoned, unwanted by the world.
These words spoken here by Jesus refer to the beginning of Psalm 22. It begins as an outcry of anguish, stating the true reality of the suffering we endure as a result of the fall of man. But the Psalm ends in hope and praise for the Lord. Even in His death, Jesus shows us that we are not alone: There is more than disappointment and despair to life. In Him, all times of grief turn into opportunities for trust and praise of the Father.
In our distress and suffering, it can be challenging to recognize God. We forget that our pain causes Him anguish too, often an anguish too deep for words. This became reality when I saw the still notable results of the earthquake that happened during Jesus’ crucifixion in the rock on Calvary. The crack can be traced down the entire mountain. God responded to Jesus’ agony by shaking the earth, eclipsing the sun and tearing the Temple veil in two. The abandonment that Jesus felt in this moment was so that we would never feel it ourselves. The Father, in His divine providence, cast the earth into darkness, ripped open the rock and created a new covenant of His presence so that we may always be provided for during our earthly journey, especially in times of suffering. In case this was not enough, when we commemorate the Last Supper, we remember the most excellent provision we have been given: Christ Himself in the Eucharist.
Lord, even in Your most vulnerable state, You did not forsake us; instead, You looked out to gaze on the souls gathered at Your feet and made sure they were taken care of. Help me to never forsake You, even when I feel forsaken.
I am sorry for the times I blamed You for the hurts in my heart. Help me to cast out the lies and the darkness and see that all the things that have broken my heart break Yours, too. Help me to enter life with Your light shining forth so that, through me, others may see the ways You provide for them in their darkness as well.
Wash me with the Precious Blood from Your side, Jesus, like you did the centurion soldier, that I may be baptized in the truth of the life You have won for me.
Jesus, thank You for giving me Your mother. Mary, when your son died, your heart too was pierced, and it was transformed with an even deeper desire to love and trust in God. I ask for your intercession that I may trust in our Lord’s goodness and desire to do His will, as you did. Amen.