The Son of man shall be betrayed
        into the hands of men:
        And they shall kill him.
        Matthew 17:22,23

        Twice during this week, your Son has prophesied His own death, Mary.
        Now it is Wednesday. A dark shadow has begun to fall across the lives of those who love Jesus. I see you standing there on some busy Jerusalem street as word spreads through the crowd that He has said it again.

        "The Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him." (Matthew 20:18)

         The words must have stabbed you in the heart, Mary,
        stirring echoes of that day in the temple when Simeon took your tiny Baby into his arms and said to you,

        "And a sword shall pierce through thy own soul. . . . " (Luke 2:35)

        To think that the dark spectre of the cross fell on you and your Baby,
        even before He could walk or talk! Oh Mary, every time you lifted His little hands after that, did you see the shadow of nails on them?

                That day at the wedding in Cana, when you asked Him to
        perform His first miracle and He said,

        "My hour has not yet come,"

        did you realize that you would one day stand helpless, as that hour approached?

          Did you look with longing eyes on the bride and groom that day,
        wishing your Son would meet a lovely young woman too
        and settle down, yet knowing all the while that such a thing was not to be?

                Those years were taken from you, never to return.
        The wisps of hair you tucked beneath your shawl
        had grayed and lines of sorrow had etched your face.
        You knew it all along, didn't you, Mary?
          You knew that Scriptures would have to be fulfilled
        and that you would live to see your Son die.
        Oh, how could you bear it?  How could you---all those years watch Him grow to manhood?

                Was it the quality of your quiet, unwavering faith in your calling by God that allowed you to endure, to trust, to savor each moment?
          Did you live each now, uncontaminated by yesterday or tomorrow. . .
        knowing each day would take care of itself?  And so today became the most important moment for you?

                That kind of faith seems unattainable to me, Mary.
        Maybe it was possible for you because you knew your Son's Father had a plan you could trust.
        But sometimes an all-trusting faith is too hard for me.
        I often miss today because I'm regretting the past or worrying about the future.
        Will Karen choose the right young man to share her life with?
          Will John determine to be a safe driver?
          Will Rex take care of his health?
          Will Paul's children come to believe one day?  Will I . . . .

                Ah-h, now I see Mary. . . your Son's Father is my Father, too,
        and the Father of my husband and my children and my children's children.

                Yes, I can trust His plan. I can live today.

          Oh yes, Father! Help me to fully live this moment, this hour, this day, entrusting yesterday and tomorrow to Your Fatherly care.