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Day Twenty-Four of Lent – The Gaze of Mother and Son

Day Twenty-Four of Lent
The Gaze of Mother and Son

Consider how the Son met His Mother on His way to Calvary. Jesus and Mary gazed at each other and their looks became as so many arrows to wound those hearts which loved each other so tenderly.

My most loving Jesus, by the pain You suffered in this meeting grant me the grace of being truly devoted to Your most holy Mother. And You, my Queen, who was overwhelmed with sorrow, obtain for me by Your prayers a tender and a lasting remembrance of the passion of Your divine Son. I love You, Jesus, my Love, above all things. I repent of ever having offended You. Never allow me to offend You again. Grant that I may love You always; and then do with me as You will. (Fourth Station of the Cross, by Saint Alphonsus Liguori)

How could Mother Mary ever forget this moment when she met her Son on His way to Calvary? As she stood before the Cross of her Son, she would have replayed this holy meeting over and over again in her mind and heart. As Jesus was carrying His Cross to Calvary, they lived this most tender moment as if they were one.

After falling for the first time, He got up and continued His journey. Through all the pain and blood, He received the momentary consolation of a gaze of love from His mother. Their eyes met and their hearts united in sorrow and in joy.

Sorrow filled their Sacred and Immaculate Hearts as they felt the deep pain of the other. Jesus, looking at His dear mother, was immediately aware of the sword that pierced her Immaculate Heart as she watched Him so cruelly treated. Our Blessed Mother looked at Jesus and saw not only the Savior of the World, she also saw her own child whom she loved with all her heart.

Joy and sorrow co-mingled in their hearts as they each sensed and experienced the powerful emotions of their mother-child bond. Love was more powerful than suffering and salvation was more powerful than death. The interior joy they felt, knowing that Jesus was bringing forth the greatest grace the world had ever known, filled mother and Son in this moment and gave them both the strength they needed to bring this sacrifice to completion.

Each one of us has the opportunity in life to ease the suffering of another by our tender care and gaze of love. When we encounter another in need, we have the opportunity to express our compassion. While pity looks down on another from a perspective of superiority, true compassion suffers with another with authentic empathy. True compassion shoulders another’s cross, enters into another’s mind and heart, and walks arm and arm with another down every rough road.

Reflect, today, upon this beautiful but sorrowful scene of the gaze of love shared by mother and Son on the way to Calvary. Reflect also on the fact that both mother and Son meet you on your own journey toward the Cross. No matter what you encounter, no matter what you endure, they are there, attentive to you, loving you and offering their hearts to you. Seek also to emulate the hearts of Jesus and our Blessed Mother to those whom you encounter each day. Grow in compassion and concern for all who suffer, being present to them as they go step by step on their personal via dolorosa (sorrowful way).


My Sorrowful Mother, you already endured so much. But you would not miss this short moment in which you could express your tender love for your Son. As you looked at Him, your heart intertwined with His. You felt the pain He felt. You communicated a supernatural joy that strengthened His resolve to give His life for the Salvation of the world.

My dear Mother, pray for me that I may be open to your motherly concern for my life. As I carry my cross and endure the sufferings that befall me, intercede for me and open my soul to the strength of your Son as it flows through your own tender heart.

My suffering Lord, as You continued on Your journey to Calvary after falling for the first time, You looked at Your mother with such love. Your concern was not for Yourself, it was for Your mother and for all who would receive the grace of Your Cross. May I be one of those, dear Lord, who opens my heart to You at all times and who absorbs the graces You offer so that I can follow in Your footsteps.

40 Days Journey with Our Lord
Day Twenty-Four: Idols

After the devil took Jesus up the mountain and showed Him the magnificence of the earthly kingdoms, he said to Him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me” (Matthew 4:9). This temptation appears to be one of desperation on the devil’s part.

Just as Jesus would never worship satan, so we can hopefully say the same of every one of Christ’s followers. However, the “reward” the evil one offered is, by worldly standards, an incredible offer. “All these I shall give to you…” Imagine gaining the whole world for yourself. Imagine being the wealthiest person in the world, able to travel anywhere on your own private jet, owning numerous luxury homes, having the ear of presidents and rulers, and able to indulge in the absolute best that this world can offer. If given the opportunity, most people would not hesitate to receive such a gift. But at what cost?

Just after Jesus reveals to His apostles for the first time that He would suffer and die, He poses this question to them: “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Matthew 16:26). Prior to posing that question, Jesus says, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

The contrast between Jesus’ teaching and satan’s offer is stunning. Worship satan and you will receive all that this world has to offer. Worship Jesus and you will be given a cross, must deny yourself, and lose yourself for Jesus’ sake. Which do you choose?

Though it is unlikely that any serious Christian would ever consider worshiping satan, we do often find ourselves tempted to elevate idols in our lives over and above Jesus’ invitation to embrace the Cross, to suffer, and die. Many times, the evil one’s temptations to us are subtle forms of this full-blown temptation he presented to Jesus. Satan will place various idols before us with the false reward of worldly happiness. Money is the clearest example. The evil one says, “Money will make you happy,” and many people believe that. In contrast, the devil often says, “Making sacrifices in life will make you miserable,” and many believe that also.

The worship of false idols represents a genuine temptation, as these idols can offer immediate rewards. False idols prevalent in today’s world include money, possessions, power, status, physical pleasure, pride, self-focus, adherence to false teachings, as well as an obsession with work, hobbies, social media, or idolizing another person. Each of these might be subtle, in the way that the evil one initially makes them appear appealing, only to gradually lure us away from Christ and the Cross, which call us to sacrificial love.

Ponder those things in your life that stand between you and Jesus’ invitation to take up your cross, deny yourself, and follow Him. What are you drawn to that leads you to turn away from sacrificial living and love? What do you idolize more than the Cross? Reject those subtle deceptions and their false promises of happiness, and choose the Cross with our Lord so that you gain the true glory of the riches of Heaven.


My tempted Lord, You rejected satan’s foolish invitation to worship him and to receive all earthly wealth and power in exchange. Too often in life, I choose the easiest, most consoling, and most indulgent path over embracing Your Cross out of love. Help me to see the wisdom in choosing to deny myself and follow after You so that I will share fully in the rewards that You alone promise me, while I reject the passing idols of this world.

Mother of Mercy, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.

Source: mycatholiclife

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