Mary Receives the Dead Body of Jesus in Her Arms
"Joseph of Arimathaea requested the body of Jesus, which he took down from the cross. And His Mother received it into her arms. The sorrowing mother took her dead Son and laid Him on her knees"
~(From the Divine Office of the Feast of the Seven Sorrows).
It is time now to consider the sixth sorrow which pierced the heart of Our Blessed Lady. On this day, she will be wounded with another sword of sorrow. A cruel lance will pierce the side of her dead Son, then she will receive Him in her holy arms after He has been taken down from the cross.
Perhaps she will remember, pondering in her Immaculate Heart, the day she bore her Divine Son. She remembers placing him on her knees, how his tiny body warmed her hands in that damp cave. On cruel Calvary does she hold Jesus again in death. She loved him then, she loves him still. Only now His body is cold and covered with the the Blood of His sacrifice. Come and sit at the feet of your Holy Mother, compassionate the martyrdom of her soul as she tenderly presses the head of her dead Son to her chest.
It is sufficient to inform a mother that her son had died to arouse in her heart all her love for her dead child, but Mary witnesses everything. "One of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and immediately there came out blood and water" (Jn. 19:34). "Christ," it is said, "shared this wound with His Mother. He received the hurt; His Mother endured the pain."
Stay on Calvary for a time with Mary as Jesus is taken down from the cross. Kneel before your afflicted Mother waiting with outstretched arms to take Her beloved Son. She embraces Him sitting at the foot of the cross, is there no one to count her tears? Her Son died for us, and we persist in adding to His torture and crucifixion by our sins. Let us resolve not to torment our Lord, nor His sorrowful Mother any longer. And if we have saddened them in the past by our sins, let us now do what She wants us to do - go and sin no more.
I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful,
in the wounding of thy compassionate heart,
when the side of Jesus, was pierced
before His body was removed from the Cross.
Dear Mother, by thy heart thus transfixed,
obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity
and the gift of understanding.