When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.
She watched the sun going down through the small window of her home. It was on the edge of a hill, and she loved the view it gifted her. She did not go outside much anymore, at least not when others were near. She had been like a mother to his followers, all of them younger than her. As time stretched out, they aged, and those that survived came to look more like her own father and uncles.
They had moved away some years ago. Her unchanging image would have been a distraction, a stumbling block for some, or a cause of idolatry for others. She rarely saw them anymore, the ones who had prayed with her in the upper room on that singular night. Stephen and James had departed so soon, and the rest had dispersed in accord with their own missions. Only his best friend kept her company now.
She had returned the stolen fruit, the very apple of his Father’s eye, to the world. And as she had been conceived without sin, and did not sin, its ravages had no claim to her flesh. As the new Eve, she was graced with all the gifts our ultimate mother and father had been given, but lost. Her son, the new Adam, had exercised sovereignty over the natural world as the first Adam had done. The fish, waters, storms and flesh obeyed the one who was perfectly obedient to the Father, and thus knew the true name of every created thing.
In her humility, she never actively exercised the same authority that the old Eve had lost. She honored the gifts by not using them. And she endured, cloistered in this little house, unchanging, a model for many who would follow her.
In the growing shadows she could see the friend coming up the path, slowly now. The one who raced ahead now could only walk, and he would have to abide alone for some time. It would soon be time to lay down her life, not as payment for sin, but to make way for the next phase of his mission. She turned away from the window to prepare the evening meal because, after all, her son was coming home, and a mother’s work is never done.