There are the beautiful, and sometimes cloying, images of Madonna and Child, and then there is another reality of motherhood that can be hard and messy and heartbreaking, or sometimes just plain terrifying. Surely Jesus’ mother Mary was terrified when she saw the events of that first Holy Week unfolding. Re-living the scenes of Jesus’ final days is an emotional time for all who walk this journey of Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, but Mary’s suffering isn’t often a part of the picture. As any parent can attest, she would, in an instant, have given her life to save her child, and her helplessness to do so must have been unbearable.
Tomorrow’s Arts@Midday performance here at St. Alban’s (12:15) takes the listener from Mary’s joy at the Crèche to her anguish at the Cross. It’s a universal journey. Nothing is more natural than loving a child and nothing is more common than witnessing the suffering of someone we love, even that ordinary kind of suffering – not making the cut, bullying, illness. (Arts@Midday, March 8, 2013 program)
Jesus’ humanity was never more evident than in those final days, and it is his humanity which speaks most fully to us, I think. Music has for me been the portal to greater understanding of God’s gift to us – the gift of life amidst the shadow of death, and the potential for great love that comes when the acceptance of death becomes an essential part of living.