John 19: 25-27
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ 27Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
Some Background to the Scripture
Mary is referred to as ‘woman’ twice in the Gospel of John; once at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry at the wedding in Cana, and here, at the end of his ministry. Mary’s presence witnesses her son’s mission.
In giving the Beloved Disciple and Mary to each other’s care, Jesus leaves his disciples a new reality – this is what it means to be a part of the reign of God’s love. This is Jesus’ final act; this concludes his life’s work.
The heart of solidarity is the life of Jesus, because it is through the incarnation that God is in a very real way in solidarity with humanity and that we are in solidarity with God. The historical reality of the life of Jesus as a human being lifts solidarity beyond the fellowship of people into something altogether more mystical and powerful. In addition, because we know, as Christians, that all of us are formed in the image of God, loving our neighbour (as an act of solidarity) becomes also an act of solidarity towards and with God. Every act of solidarity, understood in this light, becomes an act of communion with God; an action in which we transmit and reflect the love with which God loves both the person who is object of the action and with which we love God. The ability to recognise God in every individual person and to recognise every individual in God is necessary for authentic human development. Our belief in this and our faith as Christians draws us ever more strongly into a state of unity with each other and with God.
[ Gelder, A. n.d. Solidarity. Viewed 11 May 2016. Catholic Social Teaching. http://www.catholicsocialteaching.org.uk/themes/solidarity/explanation/ ]
How do I love my neighbour in practical ways? Who is my neighbour?
Creator God, awaken within me the awareness that every human being is my sister or brother. Help me to work for the common good.
The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council website offers some suggestions about how we can not just talk about solidarity but act in solidarity.