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Examine Scripture

Mark 15:40-41

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The Blessed Virgin Mary at the Cross…

As Jesus suffered on the cross, His mother never left Him:

There were also women looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome. These women had followed him when he was in Galilee and ministered to him. There were also many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.  -Mark 15:40-41, NAB

Were either of these two women named Mary actually Jesus Mother?  No, but in the Gospel of St. John, it is a little more clear that Jesus’ mother was at the cross.  There were three women named Mary there:

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.  -John 19:25, NAB

Scholars could spend hours debating who was at the cross, but to me, what is important about this verse is the Blessed Virgin Mary’s presence there.  Not only did she raise Jesus, but she was also one of His devoted followers.  When many of His disciples fled in fear – worried they might see the same fate – Mary stayed by her Son’s side to the end.

As a Protestant, I never fully grasped why Catholics hold Mary in such high regard; I simply saw her as the woman chosen to be Jesus’ mother.  Now, as a Catholic, I have come to fully appreciate the example of faith that the Blessed Virgin Mary is to us.  Many of Jesus’ disciples showed their weakness at one time or another, but Our Lady never faltered.

At the Annunciation, Mary boldly chose to follow God’s will.  At the Nativity, she became Christ’s guardian, and she fulfilled this role all the way up until His Passion.  The Blessed Mother was there when His life began and was still there when it came to an end.  May we join the Blessed Virgin Mary at the cross – unafraid of what fate awaits us.

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