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Jesus is taken down from the cross and given to his Mother

The body of Jesus is embraced by his Mother


V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

From the Gospel according to John 19:32-35, 38

The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness – his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth – that you also may believe. After this Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him leave. So he came and took away his body.

* * *

Jesus’ pierced side is not only a wound but a window; it is an open door to the heart of God. Here his infinite love for us can be drawn like life-giving water, a drink which, unseen, satisfies and revives. May we, too, draw near the body of Jesus, lowered from the cross and held in his Mother’s arms. Let us approach “not by walking but by believing, not with physical steps but with the free decision of our heart”.[1] In this lifeless body we see ourselves as members of Christ, his limbs, wounded and suffering, yet safe in the loving embrace of our Mother.
But let us also see ourselves as held in these motherly arms, firm yet gentle.
The open arms of the Church, our Mother, are like the altar which offers us the Body of Christ. There we become Christ’s mystical Body.

Lord Jesus,
placed in the arms of your Mother, the image of our Mother the Church!
As we contemplate the figure of the Pietà
we learn devotion to the “yes” of love;
we learn surrender and acceptance,
trust and practical concern,
a tender heart which restores life and awakens joy.

Come, Holy Spirit,
guide us, as you guided Mary,
by the radiant gratuity of the love
“poured forth from God into our hearts
by the gift of your presence!”[2]



Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolore,
donec ego vixero.

[1] Commentary on the Gospel of John, 26, 3.

[2] Cf. Rom 5:5.


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