WOMAN BEHOLD YOUR SON

Today’s Prayer to Passage will be from the book “The Woman Warrior” by Maxine Hong Kingston.

Today I pray, “Dear God, When Jesus the Christ said unto His mother Mary, ‘Woman, Behold your son.’ each and every one of us were invited into Brotherhood, yet it is a Brotherhood that is now only beginning — as humans have manufactured and fragmented a bit of a mess. Now that we are beginning to know of Mystical Christianity, what are we to truly behold?”

Following my prayer, I held the closed book in my hands and opened it to this passage:

“Not many women got to live out the daydream of women — to have a room, even a section of a room, that only gets messed up when she messes it up herself.”
—MAXINE HONG KINGSTON

I am only beginning to attempt to allow the Holy Spirit to speak and move through me. And I certainly do not get it right every time. Yet my velocity of less than 40 years far exceeds the momentum of what has taken place within the past 2,000 years. And so, I am continuing with my momentum of the Holy Spirit. And I invite you to do the same.

I spoke during a Good Friday church service on Friday, April 22, 2011. These are the words which I wrote and shared with the congregation:

“The Third Word:
‘Woman, behold your son.’

Mary, the mother of Jesus, attends to her son at the cross. How could she leave him? A mother loves and protects her child.

A mother does everything she is called to do.

Mary was the first human to hold Jesus. Mary was
the first human to hold the Son of God.

And when the Word became flesh, Jesus was for all to behold.

The Son of God said to his mother, Mary,

‘Woman, behold your son.’

Look. Pay close attention. Listen carefully. Truly I tell you.

And Mary looked to the beloved disciple, John.

Not a biological son. A brother in Christ Jesus, as we are all
brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, John showed love for the
grieving mother.

Mary attended to Jesus. And John attended to Mary.

Jesus’ body was torn in vicious flogging, further revealing among
the Holy Spirit: severity.

And perhaps the severity, for the disciples, for anyone who may have been there to witness it, was a sadness and a shame transcending earthly sadness and shame. For how can one feel earthly sadness and shame in witnessing God put to death?

The severity, the transcendence for the disciples was perhaps in
knowing what had taken place, what had been given to all.

The humanity was a dying man and his grieving mother.

If Jesus could leave one last sentiment to his mother, it was to call upon her to look to the one standing next to her, taking care of her, asking her what she needed. Jesus wanted to be certain that Mary knew; THIS is family.

In this moment, Mary no longer holds her baby in her arms; she beholds what He has given her.

Mary gave Jesus life. And Jesus gave Mary life.
And in those last moments, Jesus gave Mary encouragement to carry on and to love one another as family.

A mother feels purpose, duty, to love her child. In that time, women were not accustomed to being addressed in public. They seldom served political and economic purpose. In that time, women served the purpose of loving and caring for their children.

Mary’s child would die and she would remain, asking, ‘But what is my purpose now?’

And God told her: Live on. Love. Your purpose has not died.

Jesus reassured his mother first. Love one another as family.

And John considerately recorded it so that all would know.
‘Woman, behold your son.’

Amen.”

A few of the priests and pastors in the room gave me a distasteful look when I conveyed that the Holy Spirit was present at the crucifixion. It falls out of order with what they have been taught and have taught and perhaps have conceived. Yet I had conceived — through the workings of the Holy Spirit — and therefore believe, that the Holy Spirit has been here all along. Jesus arrived as an image to remind us of this. And humans respond well to visuals. The marketing team in Heaven knew this well. Though the imprint of the visual of the Holy Spirit has not been shared as it was meant to be. So either we return to beholding one another as the visual of the Holy Spirit asked us to, or we simply seek the Holy Spirit, as God is alive and well among us.

The Holy Spirit spoke through Jesus for a purpose that shows itself throughout the Scriptures. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, the Gospel of Thomas, and The Shepherd of Hermas are examples that further extend what was originally intended to be delivered to each and every one of us. It isn’t imaginary foolishness that hides these teachings from us. If we ask, it shall be given to us; if we seek, we shall find; if we knock, the door shall be opened unto us. So ask, seek, and knock. The Spirit intercedes at justly the right times for justly the right purposes. And this I know with certainty.

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