One Minute Reflection – 21 May – “The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Sanctae Mariae Sabbato, Mary’s Saturday – Sirach 24:14-16, John 19:25-27
“Woman, behold thy son. … Behold thy mother” – John 19:26
REFLECTION – “Mary, the Mother of the Lord, stood by her Son’s Cross. No-one has taught me this but the holy Evangelist John. Others have related how the earth was shaken at the Lord’s Passion, the sky was covered with darkness, the sun withdrew itself and how, the thief was, after a faithful confession, received into paradise. John tells us what the others have not told, how the Lord, while fixed on the Cross called to His Mother. He thought it was more important that, victorious over His sufferings, Jesus gave her the offices of piety, than that He gave her a Heavenly Kingdom. For if it is the mark of religion to grant pardon to the thief, it is a mark of much greater piety, that a mother is honoured with such affection, by her Son. “Behold,” He says, “thy son.” “Behold thy mother.” Christ testified from the Cross and divided the offices of piety, between the mother and the disciple.
Nor was Mary below what was becoming the Mother of Christ. When the Apostles fled, she stood at the Cross and with pious eyes beheld her Son’s wounds. For she did not look to the death of her offspring but to the salvation of the world. Or perhaps, because that “royal hall” knew, that the redemption of the world would be through the death of her Son, she thought that by her death, she also might add something to that universal gift. But Jesus did not need a helper, for the redemption of all, Who saved all without a helper. This is why He says, “I am counted among those who go down to the pit. I am like those who have no help.” He received indeed, the affection of His Mother but sought not another’s help. Imitate her, holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son, set forth so great an example of maternal virtue. For neither have you sweeter children, nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able to bear another son.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Archbishop of Milan, Great Western Father and Doctor (Letter 63)
PRAYER – Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto all Thy servants, that they may remain continually in the enjoyment of soundness, both of mind and body and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, always a Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness and enter into the joy of Thine eternal gladness. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).