A Child To Behold


Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister,
Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 
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 that disciple took her to his own home. 
John 19:25-27

It has been a puzzle to me for sometime before, the special act of Jesus Christ as described in the above verses.  Why would Jesus Christ, who was already in agony on the cross still be mindful of his mother’s plight? Why did He instruct the apostle John to treat Mary as his mother and to even take her home?

As we can read in verse 25, Mary’s sister was also there. Sons and daughters of Mary were still alive and could very well take care of Mary. So why did Jesus Christ choose apostle John and prearrange with him to take care of Mary?

It was only at this time of our family’s mourning over the death of our baby Mattea that I realized two things out of these last words of Jesus Christ.

One is Jesus Christ knew how hard for a mother to undergo a very painful experience such as the death of her child. He knew the agony of a mother who nurtured a child and then, at the peak of the child’s life, death would snatch him away.

Jesus Christ knew that His mother would wonder why her innocent child should die. Jesus Christ knew that even if it was maybe known to Mary the prophecy about His death, it would still be difficult to witness the prophecy coming true.  Jesus Christ knew that even if He will be resurrected  three days after, the three days would be like three thousand years of weeping and grieving for Mary.

Our baby Mattea, who was diagnosed to have a rare condition called hydranencephaly, had been given a “verdict” that she would not live long enough, no more than 24 hours after her birth, but God our Father has extended her life up to four months and 28 days.

So it is a great blessing that we were able to take care of our baby, attend to her need, love her, and we even saw a glimpse of her real face (despite the physically deforming condition)— those are the intimate and precious moments that seem like infinite. Our baby died peacefully on her sleep almost a month ago. Our family is slowly moving on with our lives- School work for our children, Ralph and Arielle and quest for jobs for both Raul and I.

However, at various times during the day, the pain of losing our baby comes back. The heart-wrenching grief that I felt when I first knew that baby Mattea has “slept” on me pierces through my consciousness like a javelin.

And so it gives me comfort to realize that as much as Jesus Christ cared for His mother, He cared for mothers like me who lost a child. That is why He made this special gesture of entrusting His mother to apostle John, his beloved disciple.

And why John? Why didn’t He call His brothers and sisters? Why didn’t He tell His aunt who was present with Mary to take care of her sister?

Because John, as the “beloved” disciple had a very close relationship with Jesus Christ and therefore, Christ knew that the apostle John would be capable of loving Mary just as Christ loved her. Because Christ knew that John having known Him intimately would be capable in extending that same consolation of loss, and the emotional support Mary needed during her period of grief and sorrow. Because He knew that apostle John would respect Mary’s feelings and emotions and would not tell her, “Hey, isn’t it God’s will for Him to die? Soon Christ will be resurrected anyway, go back to your normal life!”. Christ knew that the broad shoulders of apostle John would be there for Mary to cry on anytime Mary felt weeping.

That’s how important the period of grieving for anyone who suffers a loss. Even Jesus Christ respected and placed importance to her mother’s predicament of loss and so assured her that she will receive comfort and care from a man who intimately “knew” Him (a real “bosom” brother) His beloved disciple—John.

And I thank God, our compassionate Father for brethren who are like apostle John to us. For brethren who rushed to our side with no qualms or pretensions and helped us during the hour of grief.

I thank God for the brethren who were there to sincerely and silently hug us, no words necessary to comfort us.

I thank Him for the brethren who gave us space to clear our minds and to focus again in God’s work.

I thank Him for the brethren who set aside their own problems just to make us feel that they sympathize with our loss.

And I thank Him for His words, comforting and like water to a thirsty land during the times when I am alone with my anguish. By reading the Holy Scriptures, I am strengthened and ready to face another bright day.

 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. –Romans 5:8

 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.1 2 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. –1John 4:7,11,12

 13 As a father pities his children,
So the LORD pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust. –Psalm 103:13-14

 15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry. –Psalm 34:15

 But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. –Isaiah 40:31

 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God . –2nd Corinthians 1:3-4 

You are here: Home Meditations A Child To Behold