Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved,
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 into his home.
After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I thirst.”
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
“It is finished.”
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.
Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately Blood and water flowed out.-John 19:25-34
The episode mentioned in today’s Gospel is one that in only mentioned in John’s Gospel. Matthew, Mark, and Luke have no mention of it for good reason. John was the only disciples that stuck with Jesus during the crucifixion, and there he witnessed an amazing exchange. Watching the savior of the world in agony on the cross must have been amazing enough, but he also witnessed a son loving his mother. In his final moments he wanted to make sure that his mother was taken care of. He tells John “Son, behold your mother”. This would not have happened if Mary had other children. In fact, it would have broken Mosaic law to do so. It was the responsibility of the eldest son to take care of mom, and if something would have happened it would go to the next oldest.
There are a couple observations to take from today’s Gospel reading. Firstly, Mary had no other children which would go to prove Church teaching about her perpetual virginity. Secondly John takes care of Mary as his own mother. John’s mom was still alive during the crucifixion, and yet Jesus hands her over to him. As Christians we are adopted sons, and therefore Jesus is also giving Mary to us as our mother. Christ is the head of the church, and Mary is his mother, as adopted sons she is our mother. She is the mother of the Church. Behold your mother.
“If anyone does not wish to have Mary Immaculate for his Mother, he will not have Christ for his Brother.” -Saint Maximilian Kolbe