When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
Today’s feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is tied to the feast of yesterday, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The disciple “whom he loved” is unnamed in the scene beneath the Cross. And even though the church has always wanted to say that this disciple was “John” (to associate the gospel with one of the Twelve), the gospel writer was very clear. When we look at the 11th chapter of the Fourth Gospel, we see the remarkable triple identification of the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved:
So the sisters sent word to him [Jesus], saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.” (Jn 11:3)
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. (Jn 11:5)
And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” (Jn 11:35-36)
Could Lazarus be the Beloved Disciple? Perhaps, and maybe most likely . . . but the most important teaching that the gospel writer leaves us in the scene beneath the Cross is that by not putting a name on the Beloved Disciple it allows each one of us to be that Beloved Disciple to whom Jesus entrusts his mother. And like Beloved Disciples everywhere, we take her into our home.