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There is a special pain that cuts through the hearts of mothers especially, but fathers also, as they see their child suffer.

There is so much more to Mary’s grief than the final stage so masterfully captured in Michelangelo’s Pieta.
Creighton University’s Online Ministry
 offers a glimpse into Mary’s sufferings by suggesting some things might have gone through a mother’s heart as she watched helplessly as He carried His cross.

I was deeply moved. Here I share with you some thoughts that particularly touched me.

Jesus is condemned to die.

I’ll never forget the blood he shed and the pain he experienced at the hands of the Roman guards. I never could have imagined that this would be the sword that would ultimately pass through my heart.

Jesus Carries His Cross.

Each step he took cut deeply into his already battered shoulders. I couldn’t believe he could manage even a few steps.

Jesus Falls the First Time.

I can barely express to you what it was like to see my Son fall under the weight of that cross. Everything within me wanted to make them stop.

Jesus Meets His Mother.

And we looked into each other’s eyes. I didn’t want him to see my tears or know my pain, but I long ago accepted how thoroughly he knew me. The love from my heart poured out in the only embrace I could give him. … he has understood the heart of every loving mother who grieves at the suffering of her children.

Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross.

I was so relieved that he was getting help at the time, even though my heart went out to Simon who was drawn into Jesus’ journey.

Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus.

Then, out of the crowd came a woman whose compassion for my Son was so great that she pushed passed the Roman soldiers and wiped his face with her veil. Oh, how I loved her for that. The look between them touched me deeply. His clean face, for a moment, revealed the loving face of the Son I loved.

Jesus Falls the Second Time.

When my Son fell the second time, my heart sank as he seemed to just lose control and stumble and crumble to the ground. The way he fell to his knees on the hard stones, I could feel the jarring pain through my whole body. Helpless to help him, I again wondered if he could make it.

Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem.

This moving scene filled my mother’s heart with even more love for him. As I had seen him comfort so many groups of people during his life, now he comforts this group of women and children in Jerusalem.

Jesus Falls the Third Time.

I will always remember this final fall. Having endured such a beating and having lost so much blood, my son simply collapses.

Jesus is Stripped.

I remember looking at this body I had bathed and cared for, now with all his wounds re-opened and bleeding, so exposed for everyone to see.

Jesus is Nailed to the Cross.

It is the sound of the hammer hitting the nails that stays with me. I remember pulling the first of many wood splinters from his fingers as a child working in Joseph’s shop.

Jesus Dies on the Cross.

The sword of helplessness split my heart in two as I watched him struggle to breathe, pulling himself up to let air out of his lungs.

Jesus Is Taken Down From The Cross.

They pulled his hair back and wiped his face clean before letting me hold his body one last time. He had been given to me for only a brief time.

Jesus Is Laid In The Tomb.

No mother should ever have to bury a child. Just a short time before this day, Jesus looked into Lazarus’ tomb. He must have known he would be laid in a tomb like that soon.
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Whenever you are tempted to stand outside any tomb and grieve, remember this empty tomb and know that through the eyes of faith, all tombs are empty. 

Visit their Online Ministry website for a rich selection of resources.

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