Behold your Mother
It is Good Friday, April 2nd, 1915, in a small town located in Vallendar, Germany. A group of young seminarians, together with their spiritual director, Father Kentenich, had sealed a Covenant of Love with Mary five months before, had invited her to establish her home in a small chapel, and are searching for an image of the Blessed Mother to place in the chapel. During that Good Friday they relived the Passion of Christ.
Sister M. Nilza P. da Silva
It is Good Friday; we are enveloped in the Calvary’s atmosphere. We experience the passion and death of Christ, God’s son, who loved us until the very end. Raised on the cross, totally stripped of his dignity, his rights, even his robes, there is only one thing that remains as his: his Mother. No one can take that away from him! She is totally his and nothing in this world can take Her away from him.,
Then, Jesus surprises us once again, even at this time of a most dreadful suffering, he willingly gives us his most precious gift: “Behold your Mother”. His love for us is perfect, he does not keep anything for himself. And John “took her into his home” (Jn 19,27).
She is and acts as our Mother
Mary assumes her role as mother of each member of the Mystical Body of Christ. As his collaborator, she continues loving and guiding each child engendered by her Son’s sacrifice. Throughout history we see how she loves us until the very end, just like Jesus did, keeping nothing for herself. Following Jesus’ example, she gives her all so that we may experience the Father’s merciful love. She remains beside each of her children’s cross and guides them towards the morning of the resurrection.
Behold our mother, our MTA
It is Good Friday, April 2nd, 1915, in a small town in Vallendar, Germany. A group of young seminarians, together with their spiritual director, Father Kentenich, had sealed a Covenant of Love with Mary five months before, had invited her to establish her home in a small chapel, and are searching for an image of the Blessed Mother to place in the chapel. During that Good Friday they relived the Passion of Christ. The priest and the young seminarians want to take part in Jesus’s suffering as vividly as possible. They are spiritually present at the Golgotha, on Calvary hill, as they listen once again to Jesus’ testament of love: “Behold your Mother”. (Jn 19:27)
The seminarians were busy with the preparations for that day’s sacred liturgy. Brothers Joseph and Christian went to the train station to pick up a package that had arrived for Father Kentenich: the Blessed Mother’s image which had been sent by Father Eugene Huggle, one of the professors at the Seminar, to be enthroned in the chapel. Since the brothers were not the recipient indicated on the package, the station’s chief refused to give them the package and told them to return the following Monday after the Easter celebration was over. Joseph wants to take the Blessed Mother home and is so persistent that the station’s chief finally agrees to put the large octagonal image in their cart, and it arrives at Schoenstatt within ten minutes.
She agrees to be taken home
And so, the Blessed Mother arrives to take possession of her throne of grace. She is wrapped up, placed in a cart, without making any noise, attracting no attention. Thus, on that unforgettable day 106 years ago, that sacred moment in Christ’s passion is relived. On the day he leaves this world, he offers his mother to us as our Mother, and she arrives without us noticing. Her Son is the focus. That day they meditate on Christ’s suffering as they stand by the cross. The MTA’s image arrives as a sacred legacy of that unparalleled point in time. It feels like Jesus is telling Father Kentenich: “Behold your Mother”. Due to the Holy Week’s celebrations, the image is enthroned in the small chapel on April 11, the Sunday after Easter, on the Feast of the Divine Mercy.
He takes her home. To the small chapel, the home where she acts as educator and dispenses abundant graces. To the home in his heart, to the home in the heart of every seminarian, and, even today, he continues taking her to the home of everyone who seals the Covenant of Love. She comes to stay with her children, in their tribulations and life’s trials, so that they can be touched by the Father’s merciful love and experience each day the resurrection to a new life in Christ.
She came to form her children in the image of Christ
She arrives with her heroic Son on Good Friday and transforms the small chapel into her own Mount Tabor. In 1947, Father Kentenich said in Brazil: “Our Mount Tabor must radiate our Blessed Mother’s glory. What does the fullness of Mary’s glory consist of? How do we see her before us? She is the remarkable woman formed and capable of forming others in the image of Christ. Her main task is to bring Christ to the world”.
We are part of this history
As on April 2, 1915, it is Good Friday once more. Jesus gives us his mother once again, giving us her presence in the Shrine. Let us allow ourselves to be educated by her! Let us bring her into the home that is in our heart, and she will reveal her glory in us and in our family. Let us allow ourselves to be taken to the Shrine by the words of Father Kentenich, to whom the image of our Blessed Mother was entrusted:
“If you want to understand her well, you have to penetrate profoundly into these three truths:
Christ, the ideal of our life
Christ, the foundation of our life
Christ, the form of our life.
For Mary, Christ became her life’s ideal and its foundation, to the point of adopting Jesus’ form in her life. This is the great importance that the Mother of God has for us in relation to Jesus. We do not want to focus on her. We know that her whole being and her whole person always point to Jesus. We see her as the bearer of Christ because she took the form of Christ and is capable of being formed in the image of Christ”.