Summary: The Good Friday story told from the perspective of Mary the mother of James the younger and Joses
I’ll be right there! Yes. Yes, I am one of the women who followed Jesus. We’re on our way to the tomb. I am his aunt Mary, sister-in-law to Mary the mother of Jesus. Jesus truly was a remarkable man, full of love and without a doubt, the son of God.
I first meet Mary when Jesus was a small child. I was betrothed to her brother Alphæus. I was instantly taken with her gentle presence and deep faith. She was much easier to be with than Sal-o-may or some of her other brothers and sisters. I guess part of the reason I was drawn to her was that she seemed to embody a spirit of love, just like her son.
My family was thrilled to have me marry Alphaeus, not because Alphaeus was a great man, but because that meant I was no longer their responsibility. My father was terribly disappointed when I was born. I was a girl and on top of that, I had a deformed foot which caused a limp. The chances of someone like me getting married was slim. In the eyes of my parents, I was merely a financial burden. As a child, the neighborhood children made fun of me and even my own brothers and sisters taunted me. When the opportunity came to marry Alphaeus, I jumped at it. Life with him could not be any worse than the loveless life I had at home.
I did not realize how desperate Alphaeus was to marry. It seems the scandal caused by the birth of Jesus made parents a little reluctant to have their daughters marry into the family. Alphaeus had hoped to marry his childhood sweetheart, but after Mary’s behavior, he wasn’t even allowed to speak to her. Marrying me was a last ditch effort to become a partially respected man in the community.
Most of Alphaeus’s family ignored me. I produced children which they “oohed” and “aahed” over and performed all the duties expected by a wife and daughter-in-law. It wasn’t that they were mean to me, it was just that they showed me no kindness, no love. Mary and Joseph were the only ones to show me any affection and even little Jesus cared for me.
I remember while expecting my eighth and last child, I had gone to the well to fetch some water. Between my limp and my large state, I could hardly get the water from the well and home. The children danced around me and taunted me. I was close to tears when Jesus, a young man by then, came through the crowd and said “Be still! All of you! Go home!”. Without a word, he then lifted my buckets and carried them home. As I sat on the bench outside my home to catch my breath, Jesus turned to me. He knelt down and washed my tired feet, feet that I could barely see, little lone clean them. “It’s all right, Aunt Mary,” he said softly. “God loves you very much and so do I”. I felt God’s love flow through me in a way I had never before experienced. All of a sudden, it didn’t matter what other people thought. I would limp through my life confident in all the blessings God had given me. I had a good home and healthy children. I had a sister-in-law and her family who cared about me and I had a god who had not abandoned me.