A mother’s odyssey | Daily News


A mother’s odyssey

Good Friday dawned. On this sad day, shall we be with my beloved son was on his way up to Calvary. I followed him. James, John, Peter, Mary of Magdala and a few others were with me. It was unbearable. He was carrying a heavy piece of timber on his shoulders. Bent low, face wreathed in pain. But calm. How many times had I applied oil on his shoulders after He had helped Joseph in carrying heavy pieces of logs into our workshop? He would always say ‘Thank you mother’ with a massive hug. How I loved that hug. Peter came up to me ‘yes’ I said “I know about it, but I know that He loves you very much.” Peter kept his head on my shoulders” Not once Mary, but thrice. He cried bitterly. I heard that Pontius Pilate had washed his hands during my boy’s so called trial, had said that he has nothing to do with this innocent man. He had wanted to release Him. But he had to give into the scribes and pharisees lest he be reported to Rome. Fear made him go against his conscience. I felt sorry for him amidst my grief.

My darling son fell. He was in great pain. Hunger, thirst, the scourging, the hideous crown of thorns caused my lovely son to fall. They got an outsider, Simon the Cyrenian to help him. An order, He obeyed. I ran upto him. A soldier approached me, his whip raised, either to strike me or my son.

He wanted no delays. My son turned His head and smiled at him. The soldier, gazed at him for some time, lowered his whip and backed away. I went upto him.What more grief can a mother endure than to see her innocent only child on his way to death. He looked at me and smiled. That smile, it is the same even though now grown up. The smile when we chided for making us so worried during our visit to temple in Jerusalem. The same when he smiled at me in Cana after acceding to my request. At my home, with his disciples he taught us to pray to His Father. Then, I recalled my own words “Be it done to me according to thy word. Yes! He had completed going about his Father’s business and was on his final journey.

The solider with the whip gently led me away. Later, I heard my son had told some weeping women not to cry for him, but their children and their children’s children. We were at the foot of the cross. There was darkness all over. They stripped off his garments. Seeing one’s own flesh and blood being subjected to this humiliation is unbearable. I closed my eyes. We were strangers to this place. Some were laughing. A few in tears, dare we to go against lawmakers and Rome.

Jesus my son was laid on the cross. How he wailed when those nails went into in his palms. They kept his feet together and sent a nail through them. He remained still. How many times had he caressed my face, the heads of the little children with those hands? How many times had he raised his hand to heal the sick? They were the same hands that were raised up to heaven teaching us pray to our heavenly Father. Most of all, I recollect how he used to keep me on his lap and embrace me when I told him about my concern towards him.

They raised the cross. Two convicts were strung up on crosses-one on his right, the other on the left. They were only tied to their crosses as was custom. My Jesus was nailed. To the soldiers this was a common occurrence. The one who preached about love and forgiveness was between the two who practiced violence.

I remember my son, looking at young John, then at me. “Behold your son“he said feebly. Next, ‘Behold your mother.’ I suddenly felt so happy. I recalled those magnificent words of mine uttered thirty three years ago. “My soul does magnify the Lord and that all generations shall call me blessed.” I felt at that moment that he made me a mother for all generations. John read my thoughts. He embraced me so affectionately. My son was dying. He was gasping for breath. “I thirst” he said.

They held sponge fixed on to a spear, up to his mouth. It was vinegar. He was straining himself. His muscles were stretched. I looked away. Mary Magdalene put her arms round me and brought me close to her bosom. Then he shouted uttering these unforgettable words “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Then my Jesus bowed his head and died.

I knew that this was going to be the beginning which will never ever have an end. We were standing there desolation and death all over. We were at the foot of the cross. Blood was still trickling down the cross. We took him down. They placed his lifeless body on my lap.

The following day was Sabbath. Early on the Sunday morning, I heard a shouting “Mary” they shouted “our lord has risen from the dead. I was absolutely joyous. All of us went towards the sepulcher. It was empty. A young person had asked them “why seek living among the dead?” then they knew. They knew in the most beautiful manner that my Jesus has risen from the dead. Me, a humble Jewish mother had been exalted to a position as no other mother in the world. Be it done to me according to your word.

This was the fountain of new life. How many will find a new life and live happily because of this life? How many will lay down their lives in his name and of this new found life?

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