Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature Monday, 21 May 2018

Gospel: Mark 9:14-29

Mary, the strong woman who understood the full meaning of this event, will help us cast a contemplative glance at the crucified. The fourth Gospel specifies that these disciples "stood by the cross". This detail has a deep meaning. Only the fourth Gospel tells us that these five people stood by the cross. The other Evangelists do not say so. Luke, for instance, says that all those who knew him followed the events from a distance. Matthew also says that many women followed these events from afar. These women had followed Jesus from Galilee and served Him. But now they followed Him from afar. Like Matthew, Mark gives us the names of those who followed the death of Jesus from afar. Thus only the fourth Gospel says that the mother of Jesus and the other women and the beloved disciple "stood by the cross". They stood there like servants before their king.

They are present courageously at a time when Jesus has already declared that "it is fulfilled". The mother of Jesus is present at the hour that finally "has come". That hour was foretold at the wedding feast of Cana. The fourth Gospel had remarked then that "the mother of Jesus was there". Thus, the person that remains faithful to the Lord in His destiny, he/she is a beloved disciple. The Evangelist keeps this disciple anonymous so that each one of us may see him/herself mirrored in the one who knew the mysteries of the Lord. The mother standing beneath the cross, accepted her Son’s testament of love and welcomed all people in the person of the beloved disciple as sons and daughters to be reborn unto life eternal.