Archive for March 14th, 2020

Saturday, March 14, 2020

John 19:25-27: Vulnerable Women

station_ix[1]From THE FOUR LOVES by C. S. Lewis: To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it carefully around the hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.  The only place outside heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is hell”. 


These words give us something to ponder as we watch the women wait for the hour of death at the foot of the cross.  With them we can examine ourselves to see how and if and why we do or do not allow ourselves to be open or closed to love, open or closed to heaven, open or closed to a place of dark tragedy.

Matthew, Mark and Luke record that the women accompanying Christ and his friends stood at a distance as the hour of Jesus’ death drew near.  It is John who brings this group closer to the cross, closer to the agony, closer to the pain.  It is John who records how Jesus was certain to see to his mother’s welfare.  A woman alone in this society lived a dangerous life without provision and without protection.  Jesus does not allow this mother, who has offered her love unconditionally to him and to his followers, to be left to the mercy of the crowd.  This is one of his final acts as he exits this world to enter into the next.

From early on in all four Gospels we see women as important to Jesus. In Luke 8:1-3 we find women, many of them nameless, following Christ, cooking and washing for him and his disciples.  These women make themselves open to The Word.  They offer themselves as vulnerable vessels for The Word.  They became sowers and reapers, caretakers and nurturers.  They become builders of the Kingdom of God.  They allow themselves to be committed to something that many disbelieve.  They love.

Thinking about these women and considering where we might be standing in this crucifixion story, we pause to pray . . .

May we be faithful followers of Christ as were these Galilean women whom the Gospels describe.  May we be willing vessels, vulnerable to the love to which Jesus calls us.  May we dare to make ourselves open to the work God has in mind for us.  May we be willing temples wherein the Holy Spirit dwells. May we rejoice in the wisdom of the Creator, in the miracle of God’s hope, in the healing and restoration of God’s hand.  May we be present to everyone we meet today and all days . . . for we never know what miracles may be wrought, what hopes fulfilled, what love harvested . . . . if only we might be open and vulnerable.


For a prayer At the Foot of the Cross, click on the image above or go to: http://lu10-38.blogspot.com/2007/02/station-ix-at-foot-of-cross.html

Written on Valentine’s Day 2008, re-written and posted today.

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