July 11, Saint Benedict, abbot
The phrases of Jesus from the cross
Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. Jn 19,27-29
Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and while he is in agony he delivery to the men a few messages, but of an infinite spiritual intensity. These are eight short sentences, each one requiring a long and careful listening meditation. Four of those are addressed to the Father: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Lk 23,34); “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mk15,34); “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Lk 23,46); “It is finished!” (Jn 19,30). A sentence is personally dedicated to the devoted robber: “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23,43). Another was addressed to Mary: “Woman, behold, your son!” (Jn 19,26). Subsequently, as reported by the passage of today, Jesus says to John the disciple: “Behold your mother”, and finally, to each man, he says: “I am thirsty”. What is for us today the meaning of these words of Jesus? His thirst is a thirst for love from the men: at the moment of the sacrifice on the cross “for us”, Jesus asks to be reciprocated “from us”. Prior to this request to all the men he indicates to Mary her new son, the disciple John, and with him also the all of us who believe in Jesus Christ died and resurrected again: “Woman, behold your son” (Jn 19,26). At that moment she becomes the mother of John, of every christian and of the church: “Behold your mother”. We must therefore recognize that we have been so blessed to have become children of the woman who generated the Savior and part of the church established at the feet of the cross. It is for these beliefs that in the most beautiful corners of our home we have placed sacred images which refer to this mystery. And we wanted it to be illuminated by day and night to the purpose of never being extinguished the thought of this belongings.