Back in January, I realized that I didn’t know my Mother.

No, not my biological mother, my spiritual Mother…our spiritual Mother. The one who not only brought Jesus into the world in a stable, but the one who watched Him suffer, die, and who today can lead us closer to Him if we ask for her help.

Holy Thursday marks the end of Lent and the beginning of the Triduum: the days when we prayerfully recognize Jesus’ suffering and death and then find Him risen on Easter Sunday. It’s when our own Lenten suffering ends.

To quote my friend Sister Brittany Harrison, F.M.A., “There is no Easter Sunday without Good Friday.” We endure a spiritual death during Lent as we travel through the desert and (try) to resist temptation with Jesus, endure a crucifixion with Him, and then rise with Him and are given life.

But, I believe that there is someone else whom we should be recognizing during the Triduum, Easter, and even beyond: The Blessed Virgin Mary.

Holy Thursday

Holy Week The Last Supper Eucharist

On Holy Thursday, we remember the Last Supper- the meal that Jesus shared with His disciples and changed the bread and wine into His body and blood.

“Take this all of you and eat of it, for this is my body which will be given up for you […] Take this all of you and drink of it, for this is the cup of my blood, the cup of the new and everlasting covenant which will be shed for you and for all for the many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this is memory of me.”

Now, I can’t exactly say that Mary can be found during this Last Supper because as far as we know, she wasn’t there physically during it. Although, Father Edward Looney shared this: “One Jesuit writer believes Mary was the ‘first sacristan,’ meaning she cleaned up after the Last Supper.”

Regardless, she is the Mother of the Church and the Mother of priests. With this in mind, we can ask her to strengthen our love for Jesus in the Eucharist, even ask her to help us have stronger faith in it. We can even ask for her to guide our priests since the priesthood was established on Holy Thursday.

Good Friday

Good Friday Catholic Holy Week Mary

On this day, we remember how Jesus was tortured, humiliated, and nailed to the cross for our transgressions. Remember that Mary was there, watching the whole thing! Mary watched her own child carry the cross for our sins. Imagine the pain she felt knowing she couldn’t do anything about it…knowing that it had to happen.

Who can bear to watch their son go through what He did?

I don’t think that anyone can truly understand the pain she was in, watching her Son be whipped, His dignity taken away, and watch Him suffer and be crucified. She also held her Son in her arms after He died. During this time, a sword of grief pierced through her heart. No one on earth understood the pain of this better than her. Despite how unsettling it must have been, sometimes I feel like the Gospel becomes numb to us. We read about it and hear about His suffering and death at Mass, but does it have an effect on us anymore? This is where Mary comes in.

Recall Jesus’ words to the disciple when He was dying on the cross, “Dear woman, here is your son, and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’” (John 19:25-27)

At that exact moment, Jesus gave us His Mother so that she could help us grow closer to Him. In fact, when Mary takes us into her heart, she can take us into the very heart of Jesus. With this, we can ask Mary to help us be re-awakened by the Gospel. Ask her to remind us of what it was that He suffered, why He did it, and how it is relevant to us today. Don’t be afraid to feel sorrow in your heart like she did when you think about the walk that He took while carrying the cross and then dying on it. Not only will it deepen our gratitude for the Passion, but it can set our faith on fire. He did that for us, taking the punishment we deserve. Ask Mary to help us feel it in our souls. Pray that she can help us be more loyal to her Son, and she stood by Him. Remember too that she can pray for us at the moment of our own deaths.

Remember that Good Friday isn’t meant to feel good. We can share in that sorrow.

Holy Saturday

As the rest of the Easter season continues, ask her to help us love and trust her Son more. She trusts Him without a single doubt. May she help us the same way.

Ask her to help us have more faith in the Resurrection and the promises that lie ahead of us. Ask her to help us know her Son better. Plus, once you know what her job is for our faith, like me, you can come to know your Mother a little better.

 

On this day, we remember that Jesus’ body laid in the tomb. In addition, according to our creed, Jesus also “descended into Hell.” One could imagine the sorrow and agony that Mary felt during this time. Yet, according to EWTN, “she entrusts herself fully to the God of life.” This can get us to think about when we are facing dark times…do we completely trust God? Ask Mary to help our faith in God grow during the dark times. “[She thinks] back to the words of her Son, she hopes in the fulfillment of the divine promises.” Jesus has a promise for all of our suffering, and it is all thanks to Him. Like Mary, have hope.

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday Risen Jesus Resurection

On this day, we celebrate the fact that not only was the tomb found to be empty, but that the Lord has risen! Hallelujah! Interestingly,  Mary is not found in the scriptures about the Resurrection. In fact, they don’t seem to be together until Jesus takes her into Heaven when she is dying. However, Pope John Paul II suggested (according to EWTN), that Mary could have been the first to witness His glory, “Lastly, the unique and special character of the Blessed Virgin’s presence at Calvary and her perfect union with the Son in his suffering on the Cross seem to postulate a very particular sharing on her part in the mystery of the Resurrection.”

While there are a few suggestions of why there is no meeting between Mary and Jesus recorded in scripture, one of them could be that Mary saw Him before the other group of women had, as those who were the most faithful to Him while He was on the cross would be the first to witness the Resurrection. Why not let this be the inspiration for us to stay faithful to Jesus in a world where He is still being mocked and unwanted?

Let us ask for her intercession on this day, and for the rest of our lives that we can be faithful to Jesus in every circumstance! Mary is our mother who can bring us to her Son who has truly risen from the dead and ascended into Heaven. She is with Him there, now and is one of the reasons why we can ask for her intercession in prayer. Any doubts, fears, or anything at all we need to pray over, we can ask her to bring it to Him. She asks Him for us. She is the best intercessor for her Son. It is her job.

The Easter Season

holy saturday mother of God holy week

 

As the rest of the Easter season continues, ask her to help us love and trust her Son more. She trusts Him without a single doubt. May she help us the same way.

Ask her to help us have more faith in the Resurrection and the promises that lie ahead of us. Ask her to help us know her Son better. Plus, once you know what her job is for our faith, like me, you can come to know your Mother a little better.

Featured Image: By Pethrus (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons