He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
1 Corinthians 12:26-27
If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
Please take time to reflect on the image below.
Meditations from the preachers.
From Vanda Chittenden
There is nothing in the gospels about Jesus being laid in his mother’s arms, but since John has his mother standing at the foot of the cross, it is far from unlikely; and it was ‘women’s work’ in that culture to deal with the corpses. For our gospel text, here is another moment when Jesus was in his mother’s arms.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judaea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be registered along with Mary, his betrothed – who was pregnant. It came to pass while they were there that the days were fulfilled for her to give birth and she brought forth her son, the first-born; and she wrapped him round with swathing-bands, and laid him down in a feeding-trough, because there was no room for them in the lodging-house. (Luke 2:4-7)
This episode comes, of course, from the beginning of Jesus’s life. Then it had been a Roman emperor whose faraway decision had driven Joseph and his fiancée out of Nazareth down to Bethlehem. It is a shock to us to read that Joseph’s fiancée was pregnant, and it was shocking in that culture also. Nevertheless, we know that this is a shock that comes from God. But from confused beginning to sad ending this has been a shocking story, symbolised here by the fact that the baby has to be put into a ‘feeding-trough’, and that there is ‘no room in the lodging-house’.
Watch Mary as she touches her child for the first time and places him in this unpromising place. Then stand by her as she receives that same body from the cross, after his death, and ask what is going on inside her.
Can you put yourself in Mary’s place here, at either end of Jesus’s life?
What goes on in you as you watch these two moments, birth and dreadful death?
“If at times our efforts and works seem to fail and produce no fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus…and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, in the failure of the cross.” Pope Francis
Lord, your broken, bloodied, and beaten body
was placed tenderly on the lap of the mother
who bore you as a sacred vessel.
Your body, broken and shared for the life of the world,
now resides in your people, in your church.
We thank you for this Eucharistic gift
and we praise you for the blood of the cross.