Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
– John 19:25b
“Sickness and dying are places…where there’s no company, where nobody can follow.”--Flannery O’Connor
Behind our shield of health, each
of us must sense another’s anguish
second-hand; we are agnostic
in the face of birth and dying. So Joseph felt,
observer of the push and splash of entry,
and Mary, under the cross’s arm.
Only their son, and God’s,
in bearing all our griefs,
felt them firsthand, climbing
himself our rugged hill of pain.
His nerves, en-fleshed, carried
the messages of nails, the tomb’s
chill. His ever-open wounds still
blazon back to us the pack of pain
we didn’t have to bear, and heaven
gleams for us more real,
crossed with his human blood.
- Luci Shaw