It isn’t totally correct to use the word “overwhelming” to describe the impact of Holy Week and the promise of Easter, but the wonder of it all has always been genuinely humbling for me. Each time I reflect on it, I have to work through fury and sadness so that I can then become awestruck, amazed, accepting, understanding and yet, still incredulous at the Easter story. So writing a meaningful reflection that can possibly convey all of this emotion and wonder is just a huge task.
When I became a mother over thirty years ago – and for virtually every day since – I’ve believed that it would be impossible to love more than a parent can love their child. So to fathom the pain of Mary in first understanding and then accepting the heavenly fate divined for her son is simply not possible. To wrap my mind around her having to watch it unfold is just heartbreaking.
Overcome with her love and her pain in approaching the tomb in search of her son’s broken body, I can readily understand that she would forget the promise that Jesus had made – how human it was for her to doubt that he could possibly stand before her. Can you visualize it? As much as I want to, I just can’t. Today’s Gospel reading humbles me with it’s image of Christ speaking to his mother, and her simple, amazed reply of “Rabbini”. Her face must have been flush with confusion and peace and joy and love and hope and promise. Her eyes must have brimmed with tears, and she must have yearned to hold him, comfort him, protect him. So again, I’m overwhelmed. “Mary did you know – that your baby boy….?” No greater love, no greater sacrifice – both his and hers.
Today I am left with the hope and faith of an overwhelmed, amazed mother, grateful for the Man-God who gave his life for me, and for you… and for his mother. Rabbini.