Commentary on the Gospel of
By comparing the gospels with one another we see that if the third woman at the cross of Jesus – variously called “Salome” (Mk 15:40), “Jesus’ mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas” (Jn 19:25) and “the mother of the sons of Zebedee” (Mt 27:56) – was indeed one and the same person, then the Sons of Zebedee were the cousins of Jesus. They could not be full cousins, because there would not be two Marys in the one family; but it was normal to give the word ‘sister’ a wider meaning, so they were cousins of some kind. (Perhaps that is why they expected privileged positions in the Kingdom!) So, the three women who stood by him (in a most literal sense) were his mother, his ‘aunt’, and his friend Mary Magdalen. Thank God for their greater fidelity and courage. They put the men disciples to shame.