Last week, John Paul and I enjoyed a perfect spring day. The weather was gorgeous, the flowers were blooming, and John Paul and I were both feeling well. Memories of PET scans, surgeries, needles, PICC lines, NICU stays, and cancer seemed far away. We had a wonderful time playing in the yard, exploring a park nearby, and saying hello to the many neighbors out and about. As I took in the day, I couldn’t help but feel how quickly these sweet days of John Paul’s babyhood are passing by. And yet, even though John Paul keeps growing and changing, a part of me will always think of him as my little baby boy.
How true that must have been for Mary, especially today-the day Jesus was put to death. How she must have watched Him struggle under the weight of that heavy cross, blood and sweat rolling down his face. How her heart must have been breaking, and how her arms must have ached as she yearned to hold him in her arms and take away all of his pain. How she must have felt that she would do anything for him, even carry his cross. Though she was watching the very son of God carry on his back a cross and with it all the sins of the world, in her eyes, how small he must have looked to her. For in her eyes, he must have still been her little baby boy.
And how incredibly strong her faith must have been to stand by, weeping, and watch her son do what she knew he must-to hear him finally take his last breath and say, “It is finished,” even as her grief at losing him was just beginning.
Yesterday, John Paul took a nose dive onto a wooden push-toy. He wasn’t badly hurt, but his chin quickly bruised and blood appeared on his tongue. And boy, did he scream. First, he did the silent scream (which is even more horrifying than a loud scream.) And then, he let loose, yelling out loudly as fat tears rolled down his face. As a bystander, it would have been awful to watch. As his mother, it was excruciating. Yet, this was just a small bruise and tiny cut in the mouth. How much more excruciating must it be to watch your Son be beaten, whipped, and finally, nailed to a cross? How strong must your faith be to trust, even though your heart is breaking, that what your Son is doing is not only necessary, but incredible-the most incredible act of sacrifice and love to ever occur on Earth?
O Lord, give me faith like Mary’s.
Help me to trust in Your ways and Your
goodness through all things:
and even death.
Bring me ever closer to You
through the heart of Mary,
and through the suffering
of Your son.