Good Friday: Don’t Give Up
At the Cross her station keeping,— “Stabat Mater”
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.
Mary was faithful. She journeyed with Jesus during Holy Week. She met Him on the way to Calvary. And there, with John, Mary of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene, she stood at the foot of the Cross. The words of the “Stabat Mater” tell us: “At the Cross her station keeping, stood the mournful Mother weeping, close to Jesus to the last.” This stanza of that beautiful hymn reminds us that Mary stayed by Jesus’ side to the bitter end. Imagine her pain as a mother, watching her beloved Son die on the Cross. It might have been easy for Mary to give up and question how this was part of God’s plan for salvation. But her faith was persistent. She didn’t give up. Instead, she united herself to Jesus on the Cross.
We might want to give up on something — maybe a job or a project or a friendship, or even life itself. As a person involved in academia, sometimes I want to give up on papers I am writing. I even thought about dropping a class altogether in the final weeks because I wasn’t sure I could continue and write the requisite research paper. And believe it or not, I abandoned my Lenten book a few days before the deadline.
Discouragement can get the best of us. Mary could have been discouraged. But she held fast to all the teachings of Jesus. She maintained her faith. In those moments when we want to give up, let us remind ourselves of Mary’s example. Remember Good Friday and how she stayed by Jesus. We might want to give up on God, faith, or prayer. And this might be easy to do. Mary’s example encourages us never to give up on God.
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