St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Mary of Cleophas Speaks Part 1

Yes, that's right.  I walked with His mother as she and John made their way up Golgotha to the site of the crucifixion. John held Mary up.  He had great strength that day.

No, I don't know why Peter was not there.  I remember that he and the others were hiding.  They were terrified that they would also be crucified.  Peter continued to weep.  He had denied that he knew Jesus, in the early morning hours, just as Jesus had prophesied.  He could not bear the weight of his grave sin against the Master. 

I am sister in law to Mary who carried Jesus in her womb and gave birth to Him.  No, we didn't know the truth about Jesus then. We only knew that He, Jesus, was the Son of Joseph and Mary.  There had been some gossip before they married that Joseph was not the Father of Mary's child, but Joseph did not divorce her.  He took her into his home to be his wife.  Mary and Joseph lived together until Joseph died.  Jesus took over as the provider for the family.  They were very poor, but I remember how happy they were as a family.  My husband, Joseph's brother, and I tried to share with them, but they would only accept that which they needed.  Jesus would thank us and encourage us to give to the poor.  I don't think they realized how poor they were. 

I had been with Mary after the Passover celebration. We only knew that Jesus and the Apostles had left to go pray in the Garden of Olives.  We returned home, and we prayed with Mary until we fell asleep. John woke us up before dawn.   He told us what had happened in the garden.  We dressed quickly and made our way to the Temple.  There were already so many people waiting for the high priests to arrive and the trial to begin.  The people were outside were yelling and screaming and cursing Jesus.  Mary’s heart was breaking.  She felt His pain in her body.

John didn't want us to stay there, but Mary insisted we stay.  Jesus was on trial for His life.  We couldn't see Jesus, but we saw a couple of the Apostles trying to blend in with the crowd.  Suddenly, Peter came running out of the crowd.  People were laughing at him.  He ran without looking and nearly knocked me down.  He stopped when he saw Mary.  He was speechless for once, and then he burst into tears. 

Poor John was beside himself!  He was trying to protect us, but he couldn't seem to do it. The crowd was so unruly.  Peter ran on.  We didn't know what happened until later.  The Romans were finally trying to break up the crowds. I tried to tell them that Jesus was being unfairly tried, but one of the temple guards made fun of me and pushed me out of the way. The Roman soldier swatted him with a whip.  He got off his horse and helped me up.  He told the temple guard that he would take care of him if he ever saw him strike a woman again.  The guard ran away.  Then the Roman lead me back to through the crowd to Mary, John, and the Magdalene.  He was very kind.  I whispered a prayer to the Father for him.  Little did I know then, that this soldier would be martyred, many years later,  with many other faithful Christians because of His love for Jesus.  

When the sun came up, we had our first glimpse of Jesus.  Mary grabbed her heart.  Jesus had been beaten badly.  His beautiful face was thick and swollen, and His Precious Blood was flowing from wounds on His eyes and jaws.  The guards would not let us get near Him, and Jesus was lead away to Pilate in chains.

 We were pushed away by the crowds.  By the time we reached Pilate, Jesus was not there.  We could not understand where He was.  Mary saw Jesus in a corner talking with Pilate.  The high priest and the others were trying to stir up the crowd to demand that Jesus be crucified.  We could hear them yelling, "crucify Him." I thought Mary would break down.  Her heart was broken at the thought of Jesus dying.  Jesus was already so bloody.  He had been beaten severely by the Temple guards.  The drunken Roman soldiers helped, too.

Pilate came out to speak to the crowd.   The crowd was screaming so loudly that it was hard to hear what Pilate was saying.  The soldiers were moving through the crowd trying to silence the crowd. 

Pilate told the crowd that He could find no reason to execute Jesus.  The crowd began to scream Crucify Him!  The Roman guards  to calm them down, but the crowd wanted blood.  Pilate spoke to the crowd again.  I couldn't hear what he said stood with their weapons raised.  was trying to help Mary.  Then the Roman soldiers took Jesus to the back.  We knew He was about to be scourged.  Men often died from scourging.  The Romans were vicious.  Many of the people in the crowd tried to go down to watch the scourging.  John was one of them. The heat was becoming intense.  Mary of Mandala and I coaxed His Mother and  we sat under a tree.  The Apostles were in hiding, somewhere in the city.  We hoped they were praying.  We couldn’t understand why they weren’t with us.

Mary began to cry.  She felt pain she said.  It was only later that we realized she was feeling the pain of Jesus as He was scourged.  There were times when we thought she would collapse.  We gave her water to drink.  She kept saying, "My Son, My Son!"  She was exhausted.  Suddenly, she stopped crying.  We looked up, and there was Jesus.  I wasn't sure it was Jesus.  He was hard to recognize.  His face was swollen and distorted.  He had been beaten badly.  His body and His clothes were drenched in blood.  He looked like He had been working as a wine presser.

Much of this time was a blur for me.  I saw Jesus, my nephew, beaten and bloody.  The scourging had been intense.  Pilate said something about releasing someone, I don't remember who it was, or Jesus.  The high priest led the crowd in screaming for the release of the other man.  Pilate knew it was useless.  He condemned Jesus to die, then Pilate washed his hands.  The high priests were jubilant. 

Part 2: tomorrow, Good Friday
Join us as we follow Jesus to His death and resurection.

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