John 19:25-34 Reflection: The Last Words of Jesus

A reading from the gospel according to John 19:25-34:

25 Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.
26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
28 After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.”
29 There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth.
30 When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.
31 Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down.
32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs,
34 but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately Blood and water flowed out.

Points for Reflection: The Last Words of Jesus

1. Behold your Son; Behold your Mother.

Jesus was already dying on the cross and still had the time to talk to His mother Mary. He was leaving her who was of course in great sorrow upon looking at her son being made to suffer and die though He was innocent. An ordinary mother could have wailed loudly but the four gospels record no such thing. We could only conclude that Mary and the other women who loved Jesus so much were very strong in character. While the other apostles including Peter were nowhere to be found at the most difficult time for Jesus, His mother Mary, John and the other Mary’s were there, unafraid. At that moment, Jesus entrusted His Mother to John and asked her to take John as Her son. What a love that binds mother and Son! Also, how gracious is it that somebody like John was there to take the mother of a friend under his care. No wonder he is called the Beloved! Even in pain and in His last moments, Jesus wants to make sure His own mother would be taken care of. How many children nowadays do this to their mother?

2. I thirst.

After the harrowing walk to Calvary with a heavy cross on his shoulder, who would not be thirsty? Yet Jesus was more than thirsty of water. He was thirsty of love from His Family and friends especially the apostles. He was also thirsty of faith from people. Moreover, He was thirsty of justice on earth. What about us? What do we thirst for?

3. It is finished.

The gospels record only three years of Jesus’ public ministry and in that short span of time, He did what was required of Him by His Father in heaven. Now He is there hanging on the cross breathing His last. In pain, He accepted wholeheartedly the will of His Father.

Some of us live very long in our adult life. Perhaps we need to look at the example of Jesus. At the sunset of our life, can we say like Jesus that it is finished, meaning, have we accomplished our mission? Like Saint Paul, can we say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”? (2 Timothy 4:7). This is a good reminder for us of how precious every moment is and how short our life is. May we be able to meet our creator and say, “It is finished.”.

Gospel Reading and Reflection
Gospel Reading and Reflection

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