The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 27

The grant of Mary to John was a personal grant, as was the grant of Paradise to Dismas. The Fathers of the Church insist upon the fact that here we have proof that " the brethren of the Lord," of whom we read in the Gospels, were not the sons of Mary, for had they been such, to one of them would have fallen the care of the Blessed Mother; also they re mind us of the fitness of the choice of John, beloved because of his exquisite purity. Before He left the earth, our Divine Redeemer had two treasures dear above all others to His Sacred Heart—His Mother and His Church. This great inheritance He divided between two men. The Church of Christ was left to the care of Peter who denied his Lord thrice, with cursing and swearing, for in every age the Holy Church was to be the sinners' home and the sinners' friend —but the sinless Mother of Christ was bequeathed not to Peter, the repentant sinner, but to John the innocent, Virgo virginum virgini commendatur. The Virgin of all virgins was entrusted to the virgin youth, whom Jesus loved with a special love. The Church to Peter; Mary to John.

Yet, the special relation of the Beloved Disciple to the Virgin Mother, which no Christian could wish to minimise, need in no way obscure the fact that the words of the dying Christ include something more general than the commendation of our Lady to the care of His Apostle. " The occasion is too important, and the hour too solemn, for these words not to possess a higher meaning. Jesus beholds near Him the Mother of mankind, and by her side the pure and loving disciple." St. John is a figure and type of all disciples, who, redeemed by His Blood, should own our Lord to be their Master.

All Christians have their share not only in the prayer of Christ for those who willed His Death, not only in the promises of Christ to the repentant thief, but also in the grant of Christ to His chosen Disciple: " Behold thy Mother." When Mary heard the Word of Christ: " Behold thy Son," she beheld John with the eyes of her body, faithful by her side beneath the Cross, but who will dare deny that in the person of John, she received as her children, all those in every age who, with John, should call her Mother ?

It is the case that no one of the Fathers in his extant writings, when commenting on the words Behold thy Son, understands all Christians to be thereby included. George of Nicomedia in the ninth century makes our Lord say to His Blessed Mother: " Through him [St. John] I commit to thy care My other disciples. ... Be thou to them that which mothers are wont to be to their sons—rather, that which I should be were I with them still, and they shall offer to thee the duties of sons and subjects." I think, however, that here the reference is only to the disciples of Christ who were alive at the time.