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The priceless Gift from the cross

29 Aug 2019, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Mater Dei

It is almost a universally accepted feeling that a dying person’s wish carries some level of importance. That explains how significantly important Jesus’ giving of his Mother to John was to him in his last moments on the cross. In whatever way you think appropriate to elucidate this uncommon gesture, you cannot disconnect it from love.  

The question has been asked; why did he not assign his Mother’s care to his brothers? Why to John, the apostle? This question automatically questions Mary’s perpetual virginity, but that is not my concern now, for what the Church holds and teaches about the perpetual virginity of Mary certainly needs no bickering.

Different reasons may have been proffer by different people for Jesus’ decision to hand his Mother to John, and one of such reasons is that his brothers did not believe him to be the Messiah (Jn. 7:5).

It is biblical that his “brothers” actually did not believe in him, but who those “brothers” were is another thing entirely. I don’t want to sound too dogmatic for the sake of those already allergic to Marian devotion, so let’s assume Jesus actually had siblings. In this assumption, however, let’s give reason and faith a chance.

Yes, his “brothers” did not believe in him, but his Mother obviously did. She was a good mother and a wife to Joseph, who obviously died while Jesus or the “kids,” as you may want to put it, were still very young. The last time we heard about Joseph was when Jesus was twelve years old.

Mary, a good mother who raised Jesus and his so-called brothers with love, even though his “brothers” did not believe in the divinity of Jesus, Mary did. It is not recorded anywhere that Mary had a problem with Jesus’ so called brothers. Reason or common sense would tell us that no good mother would abandon her children for no reason to live with another person; Mary wouldn’t have abandoned her children to live with John, the apostle. And Jesus, who preached love, peace, and reconciliation, would not separate mother and children; rather, he would reconcile them if there were any form of discord.

It is our faith that Christ came to reconcile man to God and one another. Therefore it is unreasonable to conclude that Jesus assigned Mary his Mother to John simply because his “brothers” did not believe in him. Mary’s giving to John and John to Mary is the Lord’s priceless gift to the Church through the only apostle and a representative of the Church at the foot of the cross. The Blessed Virgin Mary remains an amazing gift of God to the Church, and honoring her glorifies God. No spirit of repression, antagonism, or protest would bring down she whom God has raised. All generations would sure call her blessed.