Ave Maria Meditations
On Jesus’ Way of the Cross, we also find Mary, his Mother. During his public life she had to step aside to make place for the birth of Jesus’ new family, the family of his disciples. She also had to hear the words: “Who is my mother and who are my brothers? … Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Mt 12:48-50).
Now we see her as the Mother of Jesus not only physically, but also in her heart. Even before she conceived him bodily, through her obedience she conceived him in her heart. It was said to Mary: “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son. He will be great and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David” (Lk 1:31£f.). And she would hear from the mouth of the elderly Simeon: “A sword will pierce through your own soul” (Lk 2:35). She would then recall the words of the prophets, words like these: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he was like a lamb that is led to slaughter” (Is 54:7).
Now it all takes place. In her heart she had kept the words of the angel, spoken to her in the beginning: “Do not be afraid, Mary” (Lk 1:30). The disciples fled, yet she did not flee. She stayed there, with a mother’s courage, a mother’s fidelity, a mother’s goodness, and a faith that did not waver in the hour of darkness: “Blessed is she who believed” (Lk 1:45). “Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8). Yes, in this moment Jesus knows he will find faith. In this hour, this is his great consolation.
Holy Mary, Mother of the Lord, you remained faithful when the disciples fled. Just as you believed the angel’s incredible message-that you would become the Mother of the Most High-so too you believed at the hour of his greatest abasement. In this way, at the hour of the cross, at the hour of the world’s darkest night, you became the Mother of all believers, the Mother of the Church. We beg you: teach us to believe, and grant that our faith may bear fruit in courageous service and be the sign of a love ever ready to share suffering and to offer assistance.
Pope Benedict XVI (Way of the Cross)