Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Bishop’s Note March 5, 2015 – The Last Words of Jesus #3

Bishop Eric Menees

“Woman, behold your son. Son behold your mother.”                            (John 19:26–27)

In the Autumn of 2013, Florence and I traveled to Rome for a few days of vacation on the way home from GAFCON 2. This was my first trip to Rome, and sadly it was cut short with the news of Bishop Schofield’s death. I had hoped to spend time in St. Peter’s Basilica, and especially to see the amazing works of Christian art there; not least of which is the Pieta – Michelangelo’s sculpture, which I have longed to see in person.

I cannot think of Jesus’ statement from the cross to his mother and the disciple known as the “beloved disciple,” without also thinking of Michelangelo’s amazing sculpture of the lifeless Jesus in his mother’s arms. (Picture HERE)

If anything points to the humanity of Jesus as he hung on the cross, it is the haunting image painted for us in St. John’s Gospel: “...but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:25-27 ESV)

I can’t imagine how horrific Golgotha must have been, but it would have been doubly so for a mother watching her innocent son suffer such an ignominious death. In the midst of that horror, Jesus’ thoughts were of his mother and her welfare, and not on himself. He calls on the unnamed disciple, who seemed to be especially close to Jesus, to care for his mother following his death. This was not a momentary duty, but rather a sacred responsibility for a lifetime.
I cannot help but think that Jesus’ care and concern for his mother also extends to those of us who are the adopted children of his Father. Thereby we, like the beloved disciple, have been given a sacred responsibility to care for one another until such time as we are called home or the Lord returns.
I pray you all a truly Holy Lent!

Catechism Questions 82 - 84
82.    What principal names does the New Testament give to the Holy Spirit?
Jesus names the Holy Spirit “Paraclete” (the one alongside). This signifies Comforter, Guide, Counselor, Advocate, and Helper. Other names for the Holy Spirit are Spirit of God, Spirit of the Father, Spirit of Christ, and Spirit of Truth. (John 14:15-17; Matthew 10:20; Romans 8:9)

83.    What are the particular ministries of the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit imparts life in all its forms throughout God’s creation, unites believers to Jesus Christ, indwells each believer, convicts believers of sin, applies the saving work of Jesus to the believer’s life, guides the Church into truth, fills and empowers believers through spiritual fruit and gifts given to the Church, and gives understanding of the Scripture which He inspired. (2 Peter 1:21; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15)

84.    How does the Holy Spirit relate to you?

Jesus Christ sends the Holy Spirit to make Jesus known to me, to indwell and empower me in Christ, to bear witness that I am a child of God, to guide me into all truth, and to stir my heart continually to worship and to pray. (John 16:12-15; Romans 8:15, 26; Ephesians 1:17-19)

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