Day Nine

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Jesus Entrusts His Disciples to Mary

St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Breathe in me O Holy Spirit that my thoughts may all be holy;
Act in me O Holy Spirit that my works, too, may be holy;
Draw my heart O Holy Spirit that I love but what is holy;
Strengthen me O Holy Spirit to defend all that is holy;
Guard me then O Holy Spirit that I always may be holy.

Reading: John 19:16-28

Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.”
Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down. So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,” in order that the passage of scripture might be fulfilled (that says):

They divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots.

This is what the soldiers did.

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.

Commentary

The statements of dying persons tend to voice their important insights and final messages. In his last moments Jesus gives His Mother to all the world in the person of John. Then He “realizes everything was complete.” Mary is His last blessing for us. He leaves her to instruct and pray for the Church which is being born out of His side on Calvary. Mary continues to echo, “Let it be done with me as you say.”

Reflection

St. Maximilian was always interested in science. He applied one principle of Newtonian physics to his theology: bodies affect each other through a process of action and reaction. Every grace (God’s action) reaches us through Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Immaculata. Our human response (the reaction) passes in reverse order through the Immaculata, the Holy Spirit, and Christ, whether we are aware of it or not. (Through total consecration we acknowledge this fact.)
Some believers have difficulty in understanding Mary’s mediation because the Bible mentions only one mediator, Christ. As we examine the double mystery of Jesus and Mary in redemption we can use this formulation to make it clear: our spiritual journey to the Father is not so much a way of going from Mary to Jesus to the Father, but a way of going to Jesus with Mary to reach the Father.
It was Jesus’ choice to associate his Mother with salvation; it is our choice to accept this association or fail to penetrate the “heartland” of theology. Even now Mary continues her concern to accompany us on the way of salvation; the easiest means of reaching the kingdom of heaven is to join Mary and to introduce her to others. She repays even the smallest reverence to her a hundredfold.

The Words of St. Maximilian
(“During her Earthly Life.” Taken from an undated manuscript for a book planned on Mary.)

And, so one day, the hour had come for her appearance in this world. She was born into this world in an unknown, hidden and poor home in a Palestinian village. Even the books of Scripture say little about her. We see her in the Scripture at the Annunciation, that moment when she became the Mother of God. We follow her journey to Bethlehem and there we marvel at the advent of God Made Man in a humble stable. Once again, full of concern, we see her on the way to Egypt, consider the difficulties of that voluntary exile, and finally the return to Palestine. We take note, too, of the careful search for the Child Jesus and his finding in the Temple at Jerusalem. Once again at the side of her Son, we find her in Cana of Galilee at the wedding feast, where, for the benefit of the newly married couple the Lord works his first miracle. Jesus goes out to preach and teach; she remains in her little home, worried about the fate that will be his. Mary appears again to accompany Jesus on his journey to Calvary and to the Cross and there, on Golgotha, she is near him at the hour of his death. It is she who holds close to her heart the wounded Body taken down from the Cross. We see her still again when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon her and the Apostles in the Upper Room, as she remains with the followers of her Son as a loving and good Mother, seeing to their preparation. Long decades pass before we can think of her passage into heaven. Though documents may be lacking for many of these years, we know that she spent many years at the side of the Beloved Disciple John.

Sub Tuum Praesidium Prayer

We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.

Miraculous Medal Prayer

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for all who do not have recourse to you, especially the enemies of the Church and all those recommended to you.

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