Wednesday in the Sixth Week of Lent at Mississippi Abbey

A poem by an unknown author, titled “Two Mothers”, tells of their anonymous heavenly encounter as follows:  

A long time ago, so I have been told,
Two mothers once met on streets paved with gold.
“By the stars in your crown,” said Mary to the other
“I see that on earth, you too, were a mother. 

“And by, the violet-tinted halo you wear
You, too, have known sorrow and deepest despair.”

“Ah yes,” she replied,“I once had a son.
A sweet little lad, full of laughter and fun.

“But tell of your child.” “Oh, I knew I was blessed
From the moment I first held him close to my breast,
And my heart almost burst with the joy of that day.”
“Ah, yes,” 
said the other, “I felt the same way.”

The former continued: “The first steps he took-
So eager and breathless; the sweet startled look
Which came over his face – he trusted me so.”
“Ah, yes,” 
said the other, “How well do I know.”

“But soon he had grown to a tall handsome boy,
So stalwart and kind – and it gave me such joy
To have him just walk down the street by my side.”

“Ah yes,” said the other mother, “I felt the same pride.”

“How often I shielded and spared him from pain.
And when he for others was so cruelly slain.
When they crucified him – and they spat in his face
How gladly would I have hung there in his place!”

A moment of silence “Oh, then you are indeed
The mother of Christ!”
; and she fell on one knee.

But the Blessed one raised her up, drawing her near.
And kissed from the cheek of the mother, a tear.

“Tell me the name of the son you love so,
That I may share with you in your grief and your woe.”
She lifted her eyes, looking straight at the other.

“He was Judas Iscariot: I am his mother.”

Today we enter into the Passion of Jesus. Like the two mothers, we suffer when one of our own is either a victim or a victimizer, a fallen student or a school shooter, a targeted citizen or a terrorist, an unsuspecting child or a human trafficker. But for Jesus every child of this world is one of his own, and even more than a mother’s love, Jesus loves us and willingly suffered and died to save all of us.