a) Reflection on God’s Word:
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother... When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother: ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then He said to the disciple: ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple received her into himself.” (Jn 19:25-27)
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother...” She sees Him crucified, tortured, His whole body covered in wounds. The crown of thorns in particular causes Him excruciating pain. Pressed into His head, the sharp thorns pierce the scalp and cause copious bleeding. She saw Him fall down on His face several times under the burden of the cross, the falls leaving sore bruises on His knees. When she met Him there, carrying His cross, it was just a split second, and now she is standing here. Jesus sees her again. He is looking at her – Mary is standing here in perfect spiritual unity, crucified together with Him. Standing beside her is the disciple John. When Jesus saw him, He said to His mother: “Woman, behold, your son.” The disciple cannot fully understand how deeply the mystery of his new birth is being accomplished. He is looking at Jesus, for whom he has forsaken all, and Jesus’ word penetrates the innermost of his heart. Here, into his heart, he spiritually receives the mother of Jesus, who has now become his mother too.
The dying Jesus addresses His mother by the word “woman”. Why? Because she is that woman of whom God was speaking in Eden, when He said to the serpent: “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” (Gen 3:15)
Jesus’ testament only refers to him who is a disciple. And who is a disciple? The one who has forsaken all that he had for the sake of Jesus. “Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Lk 14:33) To be a disciple of Christ does not mean to get rid of all material things, social obligations etc. It means to give Jesus the first place in our life and to subordinate our relations to people and things to His will. The disciple by the cross accepted Jesus’ last will; He received Mary as his mother.
At this moment the promise from the Old Testament is being fulfilled: “I will give you a new heart.” (Ezek 36:26) Mary is this new heart given by God Himself. The Heavenly Father performs this spiritual transplantation. He gave us His word through the prophet Ezekiel: “I will give you a new heart.” And through His Son, in the hour of His redemptive death, this promise is fulfilled. This moment has a character of a covenant between God and a disciple standing by the cross and receiving through faith the mother of Jesus into himself (Gr.: eis ta idia).
The new heart has two features: radical opposition to Satan and absolute dependence on God. The new heart is a new spiritual centre. We also have to receive this heart through faith.
b) Recitation of God’s Word (5 min): I realize my communion with Jesus through a ray of light coming out of His eyes into my eyes. We all repeat: “Jesus said to the disciple and now says even to me: ‘Behold, your mother!’”
c) Prayer according to God’s Word (5 min): We say with faith: “Ye-ho-shu-aa-aa-aa”, and one of us adds: “Now and here I receive Your mother.”
d) Prayer of the heart (5 min): We call: “Ye-ho-shu-aa-aa-aa”. God Himself is now performing the spiritual transplantation. He is giving me a new heart. I receive it by faith.