What tender mourning!  Jesus' lifeless body lies in his mother's arms.  He has truly died.  A profound sacrifice, complete.

I behold this scene at the foot of the cross.  I contemplate touching, caressing his body.  I remember all his hands have touched, all who have been blessed by his warm embrace.

I pause to let it soak in.  He knows the mystery of death.  He has fallen into God's hands.

For me.  That I might love as I have been loved.  I pour out my heart to the God of all mercies.

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you;

R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

From Luke chapter 2 vs 35:

And a sword will pierce through your own soul.

Mary pondered on the words of Simeon... Christ’s death is the final proof of His humanity. Unless He was human, he could not have died. Unless He was also God, His death would profit us nothing. “Ours were the sufferings He bore.”

You gave yourself totally to us Jesus, and now your lifeless body lies in the hands of your sorrowful mother - Our Mother who bore the pain on behalf of us. As her heart agonised in sorrow, and as she held her son's dead body, we wonder .... what went on in her mind?

(Pause for a minute. Close your eyes and remember how Mary held her son's lifeless body in her arms).

As we look at her sorrowful eyes, Mary might say to us: “Here is my son who died FOR YOU”. Mary our Mother, lead our families with your gentle hand towards Jesus. We love you Jesus and Mary.

 

"But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness — his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth — that you also may believe. For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, "Not a bone of him shall be broken." And again another scripture says, "They shall look on him whom they have pierced."  (St. John 19.34-37)

O, my Mother, in this picture, in this mirror I see the dead body of your Son.

Looking at his lifeless body, I see my own death.

Death is a reality that we must all face, but I need the grace, the grace you possessed, Mary, to look beyond the passing reality of death to the greater reality of life everlasting; life forever beyond that pale shadow that has dogged us all our days and which, in an instant of unquenchable light, will vanish forever and with this valley of tears be remembered no more. This blighted presence of  the scandal of death is a shade, the flight of darkness itself from cruciform Light — for "Dying, You destroyed our death"!

Mary, pray for me that I may cling to the promises of Christ and believe that they will be fulfilled within me, body and soul!

"Ego resuscitabo eum in novissimo die I will raise him up on the last day." Your Son promised.

I believe.

 

Meditation: 

Jesus, how brutally you were put to death. How gently your are taken from the cross. Your suffering and pain are ended, and you are put in the lap of your mother. The dirt and blood are wiped away. You are treated with love. 

As a child, sometimes I treat others better when they're sad or in pain. When somebody dies, I become very gentle and kind. I notice the good and kind things people say about those who have died.

As an adult, I seem to be kinder when someone dies. If only I could learn to see the good things about them while they were alive. If only I would tell those around me how much I love them, while I still have the opportunity to do so.

Help me look for the good in those around me, especially those I love the most. Help me live this day as if it were the last. Help me become a more gentle and loving person through my greater appreciation for those around me.

O Mary, Mother most sorrowful, the sword of grief pierced thy soul when thou didst see Jesus lying lifeless on thy bosom; obtain for me hatred of sin because sin slew thy Son and wounded thine own heart, and grace to live a Christian life and save my soul.

Prayer

My Jesus, it was with deep grief that Mary finally took You into her arms and saw all the wounds sin had inflicted upon You. Mary Magdalene looked upon Your dead Body with horror. Nicodemus, the man so full of human respect, who came to You by night, suddenly received the courage to help Joseph take you down from the Cross. You are once more surrounded by only a few followers. When loneliness and failure cross my path, let me think of this lonely moment and this total failure - failure in the eyes of men. How wrong they were - how mistaken their concept of success! The greatest act of love was given in desolation and the most successful mission accomplished and finished when all seemed lost. Is this not true in my life, dear Jesus? I judge my failures harshly. I demand perfection instead of holiness. My idea of success is for all to end well - according to my liking.

Give to all men the grace to see that doing Your Will is more important than success. If failure is permitted for my greater good then teach me how to use it to my advantage. Let me say as You once said, that to do the Will of the Father is my food. Let not the standards of this world take possession of me or destroy the good You have set for me - to be Holy and to accomplish the Father's Will with great love. Let me accept praise or blame, success or failure with equal serenity.

 

Let us pray 
for the victims of the wars and of the violence 
which in our days devastate 
various countries in the Middle East, 
as well as other parts of the world. 
Let us pray that the displaced and the forced migrants 
may soon return 
to their homes and lands. 
Grant, Lord, 
that the blood of innocent victims 
may be the seed of a new East, 
ever more fraternal, peaceful and just, 
and that this East 
may recover the splendour of its vocation 
as the cradle of civilization and of spiritual and human values.
Star of the East, 
show us the coming of the Dawn! 
Amen.

1 Our Father 

1 Hail Mary 

1 Glory Be ...

O Jesus Crucified - for us you suffered - for us you died - On the Cross

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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