When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, 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. (John 19:26-27)
The dying often worry about those they will be leaving behind. Those left behind have to assure them, “I’ll be fine.”
This is on Jesus’ mind as his moment of death approaches. His mother, Mary, is there at Golgotha, along with John, “disciple whom he loved.” From the cross Jesus says, “John’s going to take care of you now,” and then, “Take good care of mom for me, John.” The gospels don’t mention Joseph after he and Mary find the twelve year old Jesus in the temple. That was about twenty years ago. I guess he’s not around anymore.
Mary was entrusted with the honor and responsibility of giving birth to the Christ and taking care of him as he grew up in Nazareth. She fed him, taught him how to walk and talk, and raised him in the Jewish faith. I’m there were many moments when she told Jesus to be careful, have a good day, and be home in time for supper as he headed out the door.
How we take for granted those who spent so much time taking care of us when we were growing up. When you have kids of your own, though, you become aware of what it takes to have a little one dependent upon you. You begin to understand and appreciate those who prayed for you each night, took you all those places you needed to go, and watched to see what kind of man or woman you would become. And when you wanted to go off on your own, they struggled to let you go. They just wanted to hug you forever!
The mother of our Lord knew she couldn’t hold on to her son forever. She knew why he had come. She knew his hour had come. She knew it was time to let him go. But it wasn’t easy. Not here, at the cross, at Golgotha.
I wonder how often someone asked, “Hey, Jesus, is there anything I can help you with? Anything I can get for you?” The Jesus we get to know in the gospels is low maintenance. He didn’t need much and didn’t ask for much. Just some water at a well in Samaria. A few figs from a tree. And now, “Do me a favor. Take care of my mom.”
Thanks for everyone who has and will take care of me. Amen.