Jesus and Mary on Good Friday, Through the Lens of a Paul Simon Song

Some years ago I was listening to an old Paul Simon song, “Mother and Child Reunion.” My mind went to Good Friday, applying the lyrics to Jesus and Mary on that “strange and mournful day,” as the song puts it.

Last year I put pictures to the song to make the video below. Some who have seen it laugh and call it a stretch, but others tell me that they will never hear the song the same way again. You decide.

On a day that overwhelms us with its heavy themes, something about the love of a mother for her son and of a son for his mother puts things into powerful perspective.

10 Replies to “Jesus and Mary on Good Friday, Through the Lens of a Paul Simon Song”

  1. This is what Paul Simon had in mind when he wrote that song:
    “The title has its origin in a chicken-and-egg dish called “Mother and Child Reunion” that Simon saw on a Chinese restaurant’s menu.The song’s lyrics were inspired by a pet dog that was run over and killed. It was the first death Simon personally experienced, and he began to wonder how he would react if the same happened to his wife at the time, Peggy Harper. “Somehow there was a connection between this death and Peggy and it was like Heaven, I don’t know what the connection was,” Simon told Rolling Stone in 1972.”

  2. Dear Msgr. I have been reading your blog for well over a year and find it insightful and inspiring. I would like to share some of your writings with my fellow parishioners but see that the blog is copywrited. I have e-mailed 3 times directly to your Archdiocese already, requesting permission to quote or print the blogs in their entirety and leave them available in our church foyer (with our pastor’s permission, of course) and have not received a reply. If you can, please respond to the e-mail address above. I am a member of the parish’s leadership team at Blessed Sacrament in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. (We have a website should you need to contact the parish itself.) Let me know if you need any other information to make this possible, or at least let me know you have read this message by your denial of permission.
    Thank you,
    Christine Crepage

  3. Fascinating. Alllll these years hearing the song, now it makes sense. I wonder if Paul Simon ever elucidated in it?

  4. I had a similar creative inspiration this morning when I came across this clip from a movie involving a song from The Who – and contemplating our God Who wants our hearts and minds, and not simply rote compliance with religious rules.

    Here is what I wrote (it’s not perfect, but it makes sense):

    “This song from The Who actually has tremendous Christian meaning in the spirit of St. John’s Gospel – starting from blindness and destruction, then being drawn to Him, to the Water, then falling in to the Baptismal font of regeneration, then following the Water up the mountain height to the Summit of His Source, ending with a beatific vision of God, the Light of the World as signified by a rising sun…and finally, ultimate consummation in God.”

    1. Hi Andrew – I expect that at this time, Msgr Charles is too busy to reply immediately. So – I can tell you it is by an American artist, born on 1909 and died 1982. He was deeply influenced by the art of the RC church and you will find many of his paintings on the net.
      Here’s a Wiki link to him.
      To you and everybody else –
      God bless all.

  5. Beeee-autiful Monsignor! You absolutely nailed this one. I had tears the second time I watched. Superb!

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