Contemplating the Day After the Cruxification with the Mother of James and John
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Waldron, Maureen McCann
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Text from the first three paragraphs of "Contemplating the Day After the Crucifixion with the Mother of James & John"Mary has finally fallen asleep so I'll step outside for a minute. Just sitting here in the sun feels healing. I don't know how Mary got through yesterday, but I'm glad Magdalene and I were there for her. I have seen crucifixions from a distance because the Romans always like to be public about them and want us to watch - and they want us to be afraid. In the past I have always hurried past them, covering my ears from the screams of pain in the air. Yet yesterday it was Jesus, our Jesus, in that agonizing death. Even with all of her strength, Mary almost fainted a few times; first, while Jesus was scourged and again when he fell dragging the cross. My son, John, was with us all day and helped to support Mary. I'm not sure how much more she could have borne. I was glad Jesus' death was quicker than most so he was out of his pain. John lowered the body from the cross as gently as he could but it was heavy and I could see that Mary was worried it would drop. When he was down, she cradled Jesus in her arms, she put her head on the wounds on his chest and just stayed there for a while. There were no tears left. Magdalene and I pulled the thorns out from his matted hair while John spoke to a man who had a tomb for Jesus. I tried to wipe his face off, but I didn't have water. Then he was taken to the tomb, not even anointed, and we brought Mary back here. Magdalene tried to get her to eat. I know she hasn't slept in a couple of days. And through all of this, where was my son, James? James and John were like brothers to Jesus and how I wish James had the courage to stay with him yesterday. A mother loves her children but a mother knows her children and courage has never been strong in James. When they first met Jesus, John told me that Jesus had laughed and called them "Sons of Thunder." I thought he was mocking my younger son because James has always been so afraid. Then I met Jesus and knew he would not do anything to hurt either of them. It is almost as if he was inspiring each of them to be something beyond what they believed they could do - beyond their fears.