Gospel Reflection – Monday, May 20, 2024 – John 19:25-34 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Gn 3,9-15.20)

Reading of the Book of Genesis

After Adam ate the fruit of the tree, the Lord God called to him, saying, “Where are you?” And he answered, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” The Lord God said to him, “And who told you that you were naked? So you ate from the tree, the fruit of which I forbade you to eat?” Adam said: “The woman whom you gave me to be with me, it was she who gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” The Lord God said to the woman, “Why have you done this?” And the woman replied, “The serpent deceived me and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you will be cursed among all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life! I will put enmity between you and the woman, between the your offspring and hers. He will bruise your head and you will bruise his heel.” And Adam called his wife “Eve,” because she is the mother of all living things.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (John 19,25-34)

— Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, near Jesus’ cross, his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene were standing. Jesus, upon seeing his mother and, beside her, the disciple he loved, said to his mother: “Woman, this is your son.” Then he said to the disciple: “This is your mother.” From that time on, the disciple welcomed her with him.

After this, Jesus, knowing that everything was finished, and that the Scripture would be fulfilled to the end, said: “I thirst.” There was a jug full of vinegar there.
They tied a sponge soaked in vinegar to a stick and brought it to Jesus’ mouth. He took the vinegar and said, “Everything is finished.” And, bowing his head, he gave up the spirit.

It was the day of preparation for Easter. The Jews wanted to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross during the Sabbath, because that Sabbath was a solemn feast day. Then they asked Pilate to have the legs of those crucified broken and to take them off the cross. The soldiers went and broke the legs of one and then another who were crucified with Jesus. When they approached Jesus, and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs; but a soldier opened his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Imagine for a moment that you are in a lush garden, where everything is in perfect harmony. The flowers bloom, the birds sing and the presence of God is palpable in every detail. Now, imagine that this garden is the setting for a choice that will change the course of history.

In today’s first reading, taken from the book of Genesis (Gn 3:9-15.20), we are transported to the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve face the consequences of their disobedience to God. They choose to listen to the serpent, representing temptation and sin, instead of remaining faithful to the word of the Lord. When God calls to Adam, He asks a simple but profound question: “Where are you?” This is not just a geographical issue, but a spiritual quest. God was asking, “Where is your heart? Where is your faithfulness?”

In our everyday lives, how often do we also hide from God? How many times do we choose paths that take us away from his loving presence? Each of us has moments when we prefer to follow our own wills, leaving God’s voice aside. Yet, just as in Eden, God continues to call us, asking, “Where are you?” He does not abandon us, even when we walk away.

Let’s then move forward in time and look at today’s second biblical passage, the Gospel of John (John 19,25-34). Here, we find ourselves at the foot of the cross, where Mary, the mother of Jesus, is present. The scene is painful and at the same time full of meaning. Jesus, in his agony, looks at his mother and the beloved disciple and says, “Woman, behold your son” and to the disciple, “Behold your mother.” With these words, Jesus not only cares for Mary, but also gives us her as our spiritual mother.

Mary, in her silence and suffering, shows us the perfect response to God’s call. She remains firm at the foot of the cross, faithful to the end, unlike Adam and Eve who hid. Her presence at the foot of the cross is a powerful testimony of faith and unconditional love. She teaches us that, even in the most difficult situations, we must remain close to God, trusting in his plan and his love.

Now, let’s see how these two passages connect and teach us about God’s immense love. In Genesis, we see the fall of humanity through sin. In John, we see the redemption of humanity through the sacrifice of Jesus, with Mary at his side. Where Adam and Eve failed, Jesus and Mary triumphed. This is the great hope we have as Christians: that in Christ, all our faults can be redeemed.

Mary, as our spiritual mother, invites us to draw closer to Jesus, to respond to God’s call with fidelity. She shows us that, even in difficulties, we can find strength and hope in God. It’s a powerful message that resonates in our daily lives.

Let’s reflect on how we can apply these lessons to our lives. Think about the times when we feel tempted to turn away from God. Maybe it’s at work, where we face ethical dilemmas, or in our families, where conflicts and misunderstandings arise. Mary teaches us to respond with love and faith, even when it is difficult.

We can use the metaphor of an anchor in the middle of a storm. Mary is that anchor for us. When the storms of life threaten us, we must cling to it, which will lead us to Christ. In our moments of doubt and fear, we can remember Mary at the foot of the cross, firm and faithful, and seek that same strength in our lives.

Furthermore, we must remember that, like Mary, we are called to care for one another. When Jesus gave us Mary as a mother, He also called us to be brothers and sisters in Christ, caring for each other with the same love He has for us. In our communities, we must be a reflection of this love, helping and supporting those in need.

Let’s now bring these reflections into practical action. How can we be more like Mary in our daily lives? We can start with small actions: offering a listening ear to someone who needs to vent, helping a neighbor with a difficult task, or simply being more patient and understanding with our family members. Every small act of love and faithfulness is a step toward a fuller life in Christ.

In moments of prayer, we can ask Mary to intercede for us, to help us remain faithful to God, just as she was. We can ask her to guide us in our decisions, so that we can always choose the path that takes us closer to her Son.

In conclusion, I want you to take home the image of Mary at the foot of the cross. May her loyalty and love be a constant example in our lives. May we always remember that, even in difficulties, God is with us, calling us and loving us unconditionally. And that, through Mary’s intercession, we can find the strength and courage to respond to this call with all our hearts.

May God’s grace accompany us and guide us in each step of our path. Amen.