Photo by Gary Barnes on

Where was Mary during the day Holy Thursday?

I think Mary would have been helping to prepare her Son’s last Passover today with the other women, feeling the tip of the sword in her heart as she chopped vegetables, listened to the chatter in the kitchen as her heart began to bleed. But I imagine at the same time she would have carried a shining joy because of her love for him.

She would have wanted to make this night beautiful for him and for the others too. At intense times like the last hours we will have with someone we love terribly, we are drawn deeply into the moment. We stay in the now letting love define it.

Her simple actions she had performed many times would have taken on an almost liturgical rhythm, a stillness in her heart, a sense of the sacramental as she cooked and stirred and set the table for him and his followers. Maybe she knew what he had planned for the evening. Maybe she would be as surprised as anyone. But she had to know his hour had come.

Remembering this and that she placed wildflowers at each place around the table, working her way around blessing silently each one who would sit there.

I think she would have snuck off to pray for this night, for all Jesus needed to say and do, her mother’s heart clutched with the frantic desire that this cup would pass him by, loving him and us enough to know if it couldn’t she must accept that it had to happen this way.
Back among the others maybe she let her eyes linger on every face with prayerful love, knowing they were about to be horribly tried by whatever happened next, but praying her So ‘s words would have their full sway with them tonight.

She tried to prepare herself too.

“Bend my heart according to your will O God.” (Psalm 119:36)

Maybe God said to her that he always heard her prayers and would always do as she asked.

Maybe she told him she would always do as he asked too. “

Maybe she repeated to herself and to God her “Let it be done,” as she had at the Annunciation.

” At some point perhaps as she carried in water, or brought something needed to the table, her eyes would have caught Jesus’s for a second and they silently strengthened one another.

Oh Mary help us prepare our hearts for this commemoration, our participation in this Holy Night.

Photo by Gu Bra on