Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Third Word – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018
The Seven Last Words of Christ
The Seven Last Words of Christ refer, not to individual words but to the final seven phrases that Our Lord uttered as He hung on the Cross. These phrases were not recorded in a single Gospel but are taken from the combined accounts of the four Gospels. Greatly revered, these last words of Jesus have been the subject of many books, sermons and musical settings. For centuries The Seven Last Words have been built into various forms of devotion for the consideration and consolation of the Christian people.
“…As we are under great obligations to Jesus,
for His Passion endured for our love,
so also are we under great obligations to Mary,
for the martyrdom which she voluntarily suffered,
for our salvation, in the death of her Son”.
St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Doctor of the Church
The Third Word
“Woman, behold, your son.”… “Behold, your mother.” John 19:26-27
Gospel: When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home…Jn 19:26-27
Reflection: Sinful man, behold the sorrowful face of Our Blessed Mother. She, who through her acceptance of God’s will brought the Son of God into the world, now sees Him stretched between heaven and earth suffering unbearable torments for your sake. This Mother, who accepted God’s Gift to the world with great joy, is now overcome with great sorrow to see Him who is Innocent put to death for our sakes. Weep. o sinful man, for you and your sinful habits are the cause of her sorrow.
Looking down on His Most Holy Mother, the Saviour of the world gives her a parting gift: sinful mankind. With four words He gives us who have crucified Him into her care, so that she may care for us with the same kindness and dedication as she had for Him. The sorrow at losing her only Son is replaced with the sorrow of a mother who is forced to watch as her children blindly go down the path to destruction.
But Our Saviour is not finished. Turning to St John and speaking through him to us, He reminds and warns us to honour His mother. How can we return to sin when we remember that our sin hurts Our Blessed Mother twice? First, we hurt her when our sin adds to Our Lord’s suffering. Second, just like any other mother, Our Blessed Mother is saddened to the point of tears when we turn from the narrow path that leads to Salvation and instead take the wide path that leads to Eternal Damnation.
O, Most Blessed Mother,
I beg that you forgive me
for all that I have done to offend you
and your Most Holy Son.
I beg you further to intercede with your Son on my behalf.
I deserve Eternal Punishment for my continual offenses
against both you and your Son.
Take me by the hand so that I may never again offend you
and help me to grow in virtue,
that I may make reparation for my offences.
Prayer of Abandonment to God’s Providence
My Lord and my God:
into your hands I abandon the past and the present and the future,
what is small and what is great,
what amounts to a little and what amounts to a lot,
things temporal and things eternal.
Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.