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Day Thirty-Two of Lent – “Woman, Behold Your Son…Behold Your Mother”

Day Thirty-Two of Lent
“Woman, Behold Your Son…Behold Your Mother”

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. John 19:25-27

What a beautiful act of love offered by the Son of Mary as He prepared to breathe His last. His concern was not for Himself. He was not wrought in self-pity and despair. Rather, He was concerned about those whom He loved. First, He reached out to the thief on the cross promising him Paradise. And then He entrusted His own dear mother to His beloved disciple John. “Woman, behold, your son.” “Behold, your mother.”

For this precious moment, the Mother of God took her eyes off her Son Jesus to gaze with love upon John, her new child in grace. John, the one disciple who had remained close to Jesus throughout His suffering and death, and who remained with our Blessed Mother as she stood before the Cross, turned and gazed with love upon his new mother in grace.

This act of giving and receiving was not meant only for our Blessed Mother and for John. It was meant as a command for us all. We are all invited to be present before the foot of the Cross in the person of this beloved disciple. Jesus looks at all of us from the Cross and says, “Behold, your mother.” And He directs His own dear mother to turn to each one of us with love and affection, seeing her own precious child in each one of us.

Our Blessed Mother is the new Eve, the new Mother of All the Living in the divine order of grace. She is the Mother and Queen of the new Kingdom and the new Family of God. If we wish to be members of that new Kingdom of Grace, we must lovingly accept our new mother.

John took our Blessed Mother into his own home, loving her and being loved by her. Mother Mary’s maternal care for John enabled him to embrace the will of God until the end of his life. We, too, must take our Blessed Mother into the home of our hearts and embrace her as our own. She, in turn, will embrace us and point us to her divine Son.

Reflect, today, upon these beautiful words of Jesus. Hear them spoken to you. Hear Jesus say to you, “Behold your mother.” Behold the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Turn to her, love her and receive her motherly guidance and care. Allow her to embrace you and to welcome you into her heart.


My dearest Mother and Queen, as you stood before the Cross of your Son, the one thing that drew your eyes from your Son was the invitation from Jesus to behold your new child in grace. I am that child, dear mother, and I thank you for the gaze of love you bestow upon me.

My dear Mother, I accept you into the home of my heart to be my spiritual mother in the order of grace. I accept you as my queen and seek your maternal care and guidance. Draw me to your divine Son, dear Mother, and pray for me that I may seek Him above all else in life.

My loving Lord Jesus, as You hung upon the Cross, Your deepest desire was the salvation of souls. From Your Cross, You look down upon me, a lowly sinner, and entrust Your own mother to me. I thank You for this unfathomable gift and I accept the maternal care of the Queen of the Universe and the Mother of All.

40 Days Journey with Our Lord
Day Thirty-Two: Lust or Purity?

Lust takes something holy and beautiful and distorts it for selfish purposes. “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:4–5). This passage highlights that the physical and spiritual gift of sex is intended for the unity of husband and wife within marriage and for procreation. Lust, however, distorts this gift for self-centered ends, offering only fleeting physical pleasure that results in spiritual emptiness.

When two baptized persons marry, their union becomes a sacrament, elevating their sexual relationship to a spiritual level and enabling them to participate more fully in divine unity. This sacramental aspect of marriage is why the distortion of sexuality is a key tactic of the evil one, who hates these spiritual blessings.

Our world is becoming increasingly immodest, seductive, and sensual. The devil loves to manipulate natural sexual desires because he knows how powerful they are and how easily he can draw people to misuse this natural and spiritual gift. The devil also loves the shame and remorse one feels after falling into this temptation, and he loves how addictive habitual lust can become.

Sexuality itself is distorted in numerous ways today. Embracing one’s identity as a man or woman, as a son or daughter of God, involves transcending these distortions. Rejecting or attempting to change this God-given identity undermines the peace that comes from embracing it fully.

The cure to lust lies in chastity and purity of heart. Chastity orders one’s sexuality according to his or her state in life, fostering a holy unity in marriage and helping singles resist disordered temptations. Purity of heart goes further, allowing grace to direct all passions, including sexual desires, towards a selfless dedication to God and His will.

From the Cross, Jesus cried out, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). Jesus’ total self-giving to the Father exemplifies the ultimate response to impurity. Imitating and participating in Jesus’ self-giving in all aspects of life, including our sexuality, purifies our desires. By grace, we are called to selflessly give ourselves in accordance with our vocations, leading to purity of heart in all of our actions and within all of our passions. This purity helps overcome lust and other forms of selfishness.

Ponder your spiritual calling to be a gift to God and others through self-giving. Seeing this calling as a remedy to selfish impulses, especially in sexuality, is key. Striving for freedom through chastity and purity of mind, heart, body, and soul brings immense blessings and enables you to be the person God intends you to be.


My most pure Lord, Your whole life was a gift of total self-giving to Your Father and to all whom You have created and love. Please purify my soul so that I will be freed of every selfish desire and more faithfully make myself a gift of love. In that selfless giving, please re-order my passions and appetites so that I will love with Your heart and be freed of every sexual disorder and lust.

Mother Mary, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.

Source: mycatholiclife

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