by Dennis P. McGeehan
The key episode in all of history is the death and resurrection of Jesus. No other event in history is remotely close in impact and permanence of effect. It was the reason he came to Earth, the fulfillment of his life. The Son of God became man so he could pay the price of our sins on the cross. His whole human existence pointed to this moment.
The scriptures record what Christ said while he hung on the cross. For all believers his words are worth pondering. The seven last words of Christ are seven statements he made. They are the last teachings he gave to us, and connect to his teaching on how we should pray.
Third Word: "’Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’" (John 19:25-27)
Everyone has a father and mother even if they are not in our lives now. As death approached him, Jesus made provision for his mother’s care. In Jewish society women could not hold property. On a practical level, John now became Mary's guardian. But there is something much more important happening here. Jesus tells Mary, "Behold your son." He does not mean himself hanging before her on the cross, he means John, the only apostle to not abandon him.
He then tells John, "Behold your mother." In this act Jesus indicates that John and Mary are now family. Real, actual family! John becomes Jesus' adopted brother.
God the Father entered into covenants with Adam, Abraham, Noah, Moses and David. Each time he did so mankind sinned, and broke the covenant. Jesus' sacrifice on the cross is the final and eternal covenant. Covenants create new family relationships. John is adopted into Jesus' family. So are we!
Now we can call God “Father” because we are his adopted children through Christ's sacrifice on the cross. So when we pray to God for help, we aren't praying to some remote unfeeling deity, but a powerful Father who loves his children beyond words. "Hallowed be thy name."
Dennis P. McGeehan is a husband, father (nine kids — eight on Earth and one in God's hands), author and freelance writer who has written for a variety of magazines. He has published two books, The Diaries of Joseph and Mary and Selecting the Best Martial Arts Class for your Child. He is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild. Dennis blogs at www.warriorsworlddad.com.