When your presence is present enough


For these two weeks, I will be highlighting some of my favorite reflections from the Stations of the Cross. Click here to receive the full download of my Stations of the Cross reflections as found in my book Walking Through Holy Week.

John 19:25-27

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, 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 into his home.

From the cross, Jesus exclaims, “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?” I wonder as we come to the place where Mary meets Jesus on the way to His death if she ever thought the same.

In the Bible, we don’t hear if she fought or if she struggled. We only hear that she was there. Did she doubt, did she question, or did none of it matter, because she was going to be there for Jesus, even if the only thing she could do was to be present?

Many of us have had the experience of helping a sick friend, or maybe even being with a friend who is dying. As my cousin’s young son was dying of a rare, genetic disorder, there was nothing anyone could do. Yet there were so many things that were done for their family. Money was raised to pay medical bills. Donations gave them memorable experiences to give moments of joy within the trial of the illness. People came to visit and spend time in laughter, tears, and anger, sharing in the emotions that swirl around this time of waiting.

These are the times that we can do no more than Mary did. We can’t take away the pain, we can’t take away the consequences, but we can be present with a fierceness that won’t allow even death to stop us. We can be present and offer comfort with our love when there is nothing else we can give. Never underestimate the power in that offering.

Where are you being called to give the gift of presence today?

Want more? Order Walking Through Holy Week to get the whole story.

Whether you are a cradle Catholic seeking to deepen your faith, or a new convert wanting to grow in your understanding of Jesus, Walking Through Holy Week will help you uncover the treasures hidden in the days of Holy Week. This six-lesson book can be used for individual reflection or for group study. Order your copy now on Amazon or Zieglers, or pick up a copy at BookPeople in Austin.

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Karen May

Inspirational Catholic Writer and Speaker

based in Austin, Texas