Dear brothers and sisters,
May the Virgin Mary protect us always!
I would like to invite you to meditate on the dialogue between Jesus, Mary and John while Jesus was on the cross. We read in the gospel of St. John: "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" (19:26-27.)
Very often this dialogue has been understood as the care of Jesus for the future of his mother, who was to remain alone and the translation into English (from that hour the disciple took her into his home) leads to that interpretation. Let us notice that Jesus knew that "his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father" (Jn 13:1). During his ministry, three times he predicted that "The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days" (Mk 8:31; 9:31; 10: 33-34. See also the parallels in Mt and Lk.) So, it is strange that Jesus wanted to find a solution for his mother only when he was on the cross, just a few minutes before his death; he had to provide for that a long time before then!
Besides that, and more importantly, let us notice that Jesus spoke first to his mother, entrusting the disciple to her, and not vice versa; the mother had to take care of the disciple! So, the traditional interpretation, led by the wrong English translation, has no base.
Whom were the mother and the disciple representing under the cross? His faithful mother was the image of the community of the Old Testament, the community of the Jews. The disciple was the image of the community of the New Testament, the community of Jesus. Jesus wanted the Jewish community to accept the new community (called later "Christian"), and the new (Christian) community to accept being in communion with the Jewish one -- perfect union between the Old and the New Testament. We see that Jesus’s purpose was not to provide a shelter for his mother but much more deeply, to ensure the union of the two communities. This was his mission: "to gather into one the dispersed children of God" (Jn 11:52) and he remained faithful to his mission till death!
So, what is the meaning of "(the disciple took her) into his home"? Let us go to the original text, in Greek. It is written: "Ta idia." We find the same expression in Jn 1:11: "(He came to what was) his own" (but his own people did not accept him): "his own" "Ta idia." John (the community of Jesus) took Mary (the community of the Jews) as "his own": very important for him, an essential part of his life. The purpose of Jesus, who first of all entrusted the disciple to his mother, was not to provide a material home for his mother but the extreme invitation of Jesus to the Jewish community to consider his community as her son, as he invited his community to consider the Jewish community as her mother. Jesus entrusted his community to his mother.
It is what we want to do on May 13, 2017: to entrust our families, parishes and countries, our Vicariate and the Gulf to the Virgin Mary; we put in her hands all our joys, worries, present, future, our children and their future, in one word, all our life.
However, this consecration should not be done just once and then we can forget it. We should renew it every day. I suggest this formula of renewal of our consecration to the Virgin Mary:
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, I renew my consecration to you and to your Immaculate Heart. Please, accept me, my beloved Mother, and use me as you wish to accomplish your designs upon the world. I consecrate myself to you wholly and without reserve. I am yours, my Mother, my Queen, and all that I have is yours. Loving Mother, as I am your own, keep me and defend me as your property and your own possession. Amen.
May Our Lady of Fatima intercede always for us all.
+ Camillo Ballin, mccj
Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia)