Friday, March 5, 2010

Eucharistic way of the Cross: Fourth Station

Jesus Meets His Mother

Along the way to Calvary, Mary waits to see her son. He is battered and bruised, yet it is He who comforts her. She must know that this is what He came to do. She raised Him from birth and prepared Him for this moment. Now she must let Him go to His Father and the way He must go is through the Cross. She has fulfilled her role faithfully.

At Mass:

The priest begins the Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer. We might say that Mary is the “preface” to Jesus’ earthly Ministry. From Mary and her husband Joseph, Jesus learned the Jewish faith, which itself is the “preface” to our own Catholic heritage.

We might also note that the words spoken in the Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer introduce the most solemn moment of the Mass – the consecration - just as Mary’s words spoken in the Magnificat set the stage for the Word-made-flesh – the Incarnation.

We end with a song of praise which we sing along with the angels: “Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might…” Likewise, Mary’s “yes” to God invoked songs of praise from the heavenly hosts as they sang out praises to God at Jesus’ birth.

As we sing the final notes of the Sanctus, we then kneel in humble reverence (much as we bow during the Creed upon speaking the words of the Incarnation (“…born of the Virgin Mary…”).

As the Eucharistic Prayer then begins the priest prays that the Holy Spirit come upon our gifts and make them holy that they might become Jesus’ Body and Blood. We recall that the Holy Spirit was once poured out upon Mary so that the Son of God might become Flesh and Blood and live among us.

With Mary’s role complete, and Jesus on His way to fulfilling His mission, we bid goodbye to His mother and travel on with her Son.

[For an explanation of this series of meditations on the Way of the Cross see this Introduction.]

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