Lent, Week 3: the women who behold

This week's text is about Mary, the mother of Jesus standing at the foot of the Cross:

When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing  by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, "Woman behold thy son!" John 19:26

There are other women at the Cross as well.  John's gospel specifically names Mary, wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene, while Luke says there were many women:

As they led Jesus away, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country just then, was forced to follow Jesus and carry his cross.  Great crowds  trailed along behind, including many grief-stricken women.  Luke 23:26-27

Earlier in his gospel, Luke talks about women who traveled with Jesus, just like the twelve disciples:

Not long afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby villages to announce the Good News concerning the Kingdom of God.  He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women he had healed and from whom he had cast out evil spirits.  Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's business manager; Susanna, and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.  Luke 8:1-3

I love these passages, because this is where I find myself in the story of Jesus:  among the women whom Jesus has healed, and from whom he has cast out evil spirits.  

(Begone, perfectionism.  Begone, performance.  Away, foul demon of What Will Other People Think.)

This is where I see myself:  among women who know for sure that if we don't stay close to Jesus, we're screwed.

Because we know for sure:

We do not have it all together.

We don't have as much control as we wish we did. 

And we suspect, based on past experience, that God Only Knows What is coming down the road.

Because this world is broken, and broken things happen here.

And we've experienced that the best place to be, when broken happens, is together, holding hands and clinging to each other.

As close to Jesus as we can possibly get.

This, I believe, is why he left us here together:  to be together.

So this is where I want to be.

With the women who behold.

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