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Friends, we hear in today’s Gospel that, as he was dying on the cross, Jesus looked to his mother and the disciple whom he loved, and he said to Mary, “Woman, behold, your son,” and then to John, “Behold, your mother.”

We are told that “from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” This text supports an ancient tradition that the Apostle John would have taken Mary with him when he traveled to Ephesus in Asia Minor and that both ended their days in that city. Indeed, on the top of a high hill overlooking the Aegean Sea, just outside of Ephesus, there is a modest dwelling that tradition holds to be the house of Mary.

Immaculate Mary, the Mother of God, assumed body and soul into heaven, is not of merely historical or theoretical interest, nor is she simply a spiritual exemplar. Instead, as “Queen of all the saints” (another of her titles), Mary is an ongoing presence, an actor in the life of the Church.

In entrusting Mary to John, Jesus was, in a real sense, entrusting Mary to all those who would be friends of Jesus down through the ages.