Simeon had warned her. When she presented Jesus in the temple, Simeon warned her this moment was coming in her life. But was she ever really prepared? Could you be prepared for something like this?
“The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:33-35)
The moment had arrived, or at least she must have thought this might be the worst of it. (she was wrong) As she watched her Son’s dignity be stripped away by the soldiers, she recalled the promise the angel Gabriel gave to her. He was the Messiah. How could they do that to the Messiah? She pondered what this all meant and how all this tied to God’s plan. She prayed as she ached. She trusted God as she watched them rip his dignity off by stripping him of his clothing. The sight of the blood flowing from Jesus took her back to the moments he rushed to her as a child, while helping his father do carpentry work, because he was bleeding from a wound. She bandaged it up and sent him on his way. Oh, how she wanted to bandage him and care for him now.
“Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.” (John 19:1)
I often wonder what Mary thought as she watched the scourging.
“My heart aches. Oh, my Son, how I want to run to you and hold you. Oh, my Son, how I wish I could scream stop and they would obey. I feel the whips on my own body as I watch you writhe in agony. I feel my heart stop with each blow delivered. The joy the soldiers seem to get out of hurting you pains me. How could they hate you this much my Son?”
Mary was a woman of contemplation and prayer. She was always seeking to please God. Did she know that salvation through the Messiah would come at such a painful cost? Maybe she did. Maybe she did not. What we do know is the Blessed Virgin understands our pain. She understands the heartache of watching loved ones suffer. She is the greatest intercessor for us during such painful moments.
“Oh, Blessed Mother, pray for us that we may draw near to the Lord and to His suffering. Pray that we may see the extent of His suffering and feel the agony he endured for our sake. Sweet Virgin Mary pray that we may have eyes to see and hearts to feel what your Son did for us. Pray for those who suffer and have broken hearts from abuse. Pray for those who agonize over the sufferings of those they love. Oh Mary, my mother, pray that I will have the strength to endure God’s plan for my life even when it is painful. Help me to see that pain leads to forgiveness and forgiveness leads to salvation. Oh Mary, mother of God, pray for me.”