Mary stands by the Cross, engulfed in grief. And John is beside her. But it is getting late, and the Jews press for Our Lord to be removed from there.
Having obtained from Pilate the permission required by Roman law for the burial of condemned prisoners, there comes to Calvary a councillor named Joseph, a good and upright man, a native of Arimathea. He has not consented to their counsel and their doings, but is himself one of those waiting for the kingdom of God (Luke 23:50-51). With him too comes Nicodemus, the same who earlier visited Jesus by night; he brings with him a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight (John 19:39).
These men were not known publicly as disciples of the Master. They had not been present at the great miracles, nor did they accompany him on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. But now, when things have turned bad, when the others have fled, they are not afraid to stand up for their Lord.
Between the two of them they take down the body of Jesus and place it in the arms of his most holy Mother. Mary 's grief is renewed.
Where has thy Beloved gone, o fairest of women? Where has he whom thou lovest gone, and we will seek him with thee? (Cant 5:17).
The Blessed Virgin is our Mother, and we do not wish to, we cannot, leave her alone.
Points for meditation
1. He came to save the world, and his own denied him before Pilate.
He showed us the path to goodness, and they drag him along the way to Calvary.
He gave example in everything he did, and they prefer a thief convicted of murder.
He was born to forgive, and without cause they condemn him to the gallows.
He came along the paths of peace, and they declare war on him.
He was the Light, and they hand him over to the powers of darkness.
He brought Love, and they repay him with hatred.
He came to be King, and they crown him with thorns.
He became a slave to free us from sin, and they nail him to the Cross.
He took flesh to give us Life, and we reward him with death.
2. I can 't understand your idea of being a Christian.
Do you think it right that Our Lord should have died crucified and that you can be content with just 'getting by '?
Is your 'getting by ' the strait, narrow path that Jesus spoke of?
3. Don 't let discouragement enter into your apostolate. You haven 't failed, just as Christ didn 't fail on the Cross. Take courage!... Keep going, against the tide, protected by Mary 's Immaculate and Motherly Heart: Sancta Maria, refugium nostrum et virtus!, you are my refuge and my strength.
Hold your peace. Be calm... God has very few friends on earth. Don 't yearn to leave this world. Don 't shy away from the burden of the days, even though at times we find them very long.
4. If you want to be faithful, be very Marian.
Our Mother, from the time of the Angel 's message, until her agony at the foot of the Cross, had no other heart, no other life, but that of Jesus.
Go to Mary with the tender devotion of a son, and She will obtain for you the loyalty and self-denial that you desire.
5. 'I am worth nothing, I can do nothing, I have nothing, I am nothing... '
But You have ascended the Cross so that I may make your infinite merits my own. There I also take on they are mine, because I am their child the merits of the Mother of God, and those of St Joseph. And I make my own the virtues of the saints and of so many dedicated souls...
Then, I steal a glance at my own life, and I say: Alas, my God, it is all night and full of darkness! Only now and then can one see a few points of light sparkling, due to your great mercy and to my inadequate response... All this I offer to you, Lord; I have nothing else.