Wednesday of the twenty-fourth week of Ordinary Time – Odd Year

Posté par diaconos le 15 septembre 2021

Fichier:Lille PdBA maitre vie de marie calvaire.jpg — Wikipédia

# Christian beliefs about Mary are based on the Bible. The Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke say that Mary was a young woman who was engaged to be married to a man called Joseph. The Gospel of Luke says that the angel Gabriel came to Mary to tell her that she would give birth to a son. The angel told Mary that she should call her son Jesus. The angel also said that Jesus would save people from their sins. Mary asked the angel how she could be pregnant, since she was a virgin.

The angel told her that God had made her pregnant through a miracle. In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.

He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man ?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. According to the law that Israelites follow, Joseph had the right to divorce Mary publicly, but he did not. In a dream Joseph was told that Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit. At this time, the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, made a law that everyone in the Roman Empire had to pay a tax. Everyone had to go back to the town that their family came from, to have their name put on the tax lists. Joseph came from Bethlehem, which was called The City of David. So Joseph took Mary to Bethlehem.

There, she gave birth to the baby, Jesus. She gave birth in an animal shed, because Mary and Joseph could not find a room to stay in. Thirty-three years later, Jesus was killed by crucifixion. Many of Jesus’ apostles were scared of the Roman soldiers and ran away. However, Mary stood by the cross and was with Jesus when he died. As he was dying, he told the young disciple John to care for Mary as if she was his own mother, and the words were « Woman, this is your son. This is your mother ».


How much pain the tender Mother had as she contemplated her tormented divine Son !

From the Gospel according to John

25 Now by the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing by her, he said to his mother, « Woman, this is your son. 27 Then he said to the disciple, « This is your mother. » And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. 28 After this, knowing that everything was now complete so that the Scripture would be fulfilled to the end, Jesus said, « I am thirsty. »

29 There was a vessel there full of a vinegar drink. So they put a sponge filled with the vinegar on a branch of hyssop and put it to his mouth. 30 When he had taken the vinegar, Jesus said, « It is finished. Then he bowed his head and gave up the spirit. 31 Since it was the day of Preparation (that is, Friday), the bodies were not to be left on the cross on the Sabbath, especially since the Sabbath was the great day of the Passover. So the Jews asked Pilate to remove the bodies after breaking their legs.

32 So the soldiers went and broke the legs of the first man, and then of the other man crucified with Jesus. 33 When they came to Jesus, seeing that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, 34 but one of the soldiers with his spear pierced his side; and immediately there came out blood and water. » (Jn 19, 25-34) and showed the one his full confidence and the other his tender solicitude.

This is your son

John first named Jesus’ mother, for whom Simeon’s prophecy was fulfilled : « A sword will pierce your soul » (Lk 2, 35) and to whom Jesus gave a final and moving testimony of his filial tenderness. The mother of Jesus had with her her sister, the wife of Clopas, also called Alpheus, in Hebrew Chalpai, who was the mother of one of the apostles, James the Less. As for Mary Magdalene or Mary of Magdala, John, who, out of modesty, never named either himself or his brother James, did not mention Salome, his mother, who was nevertheless standing by the cross at that supreme moment.

Certain historians and exegetes (Wieseler, Meyer, Luthardt, Weiss, Westcott, Zahn) believed that they could find her in this passage, basing themselves on the Peschito and two other oriental translations which read: the sister of his mother and Mary. From which it would result: that there are four women here; that the implausible supposition that two sisters bore the same first name of Mary was avoided; that the one designated as the sister of the mother of Jesus was Salome, mother of James and John; that these two disciples would be cousins of Jesus and consequently also relatives of John the Baptist.

 To this opinion supported by eminent interpreters it was objected: that this variant, based only on some ancient versions, could not prevail against all the Greek manuscripts, which are in conformity with the text. That if this relationship existed between the two disciples and Jesus, it would no doubt be mentioned somewhere in the New Testament. John was the disciple whom Jesus loved. John and Paul spoke with a sense of humble gratitude to Jesus to whom they owed all that they were.

 he word « woman » was neither rude nor disrespectful in the language Jesus spoke, and it was pronounced with infinite tenderness. Jesus, by giving Mary the disciple he loved, with this supreme word : « This is your son », wanted to fill the void that his departure would leave in his mother’s heart. Although Jesus’ brothers, after having refused to believe in him for a long time, had to become his disciples, Jesus had excellent reasons for doing so. Jesus had excellent reasons for entrusting his mother only to his beloved disciple. John understood Jesus’ words well as a testament by which he bequeathed his mother to him and showed the one his full confidence and the other his tender solicitude.

John soon drew the poor mother away from a sight that broke her heart. The Synoptics do not mention Mary among the women who had followed Jesus’ death from afar. Ewald remarked on this account in John’s Gospel, which was of such great personal importance to its author : « It was a sweet reward for him in his old age to be able to replay this scene in his memory; for his readers the account he has left is, without his having intended it, a sign that he alone can have written these things.

The cry of anguish : « My God, my God, why have you forsaken me ? » and other words were uttered after those Jesus addressed to his mother.  John marked the painful and supreme moment of Jesus’ agony with these words: « Jesus knew that all was about to be consummated, that is to say, all his work completed by his approaching death.   At that moment, the most terrible torment of the supplicant was the burning thirst of fever, caused by the wounds. Jesus expressed the suffering he was experiencing and the deep need for some relief.

John saw in the expression of this supreme pain the literal fulfilment of a last element which the scripture had traced of Jesus’ sufferings. The passage to which he referred is a typical prophecy: ‘They put gall in my food and to quench my thirst they give me vinegar’. He attributed to Jesus the intention of helping to fulfil the prophecy by making known the thirst that tormented him.  But it was not natural for Jesus’ mind to be dominated by such a thought at such a time.

This is what led eminent interpreters (Bengel, Tholuck, Meyer, Luthardt, Keil) to construct this verse in a different way; they related the word so that, not to what follows, but to what precedes, so that the thought would be this: « At that moment Jesus, having finished with the more important concerns that were absorbing his mind, exhaled his pain in this cry : « I thirst ».

But it was not natural for Jesus’ mind to be dominated by such a thought at such a moment. This is what led eminent interpreters (Bengel, Tholuck, Meyer, Luthardt, Keil) to construct this verse in a different way; they related the word so that to what precedes, so that the thought would be this: « All was already consummated so that the Scripture might be fulfilled », all that was necessary for this was completed; at this moment, Jesus, having finished with the more important preoccupations that absorbed his mind, exhales his pain in this cry : « I thirst ».

It was the soldiers who crucified Jesus who performed this act of humanity: « So they filled a sponge with vinegar and put it on a stalk of hyssop and brought it to his mouth. (Jn 19:29) The vinegar was a sour wine, the drink of soldiers and the poor. Since this wine was there, together with a sponge and a stalk of hyssop, they were brought for the relief of the crucified. Hyssop is a very small plant, but its stalk reaches a length of a foot to a foot and a half, and it was sufficient to carry the sponge to the mouth of the victim, because he was not very high above the ground.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊  My catholic life :click here to read the paper → The Most Important Thing in Life

◊ Got Questions :click here to read the paper →  What does the Bible say about women pastors ?

  Father Maximilian continues to look at the characters of the Passion and how they reflect

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