September 15, 2012
Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
John 19: 25-27
And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
His Mother’s Heart
When our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph ritually dedicate the infant Jesus at the Temple, Simeon tells Mary that “this child is destined for the rise and fall of many in Israel” and that a sword shall pierce her own soul (Lk. 2:34-35). Mary shared in numerous sufferings of her Son from cradle to grave: the Holy Family’s exile into Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath, his disappearance in Jerusalem when He was a mere boy, the various moments of opposition Jesus encountered in His public ministry, and of course all of the horror associated with His Passion and death.
Jesus’ sufferings deeply affected His Mother’s heart because it loved so deeply and purely. Because we are Jesus’ brothers and sisters, this same Immaculate Heart of Mary shares in our sufferings, too; she is our Mother as well. We can draw strength and consolation from knowing that both Jesus and Mary understand our pain and desire to share in it. Yesterday’s feast of the Exaltation of the Cross and today’s memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, taken together, can also motivate us to leave sin behind and strive for greater holiness, because human sin is what nails Jesus to the Cross and what grieves the Hearts of Mother and Son more than anything else.
As happens so often, here again the liturgy (and the Scriptures it incorporates) both consoles and challenges us. They offer us hope and encouragement in any and all of the suffering we undergo, on the one hand, and they spur us to greater heights of sanctity and sainthood.
—Fr. Rob Kroll, S.J
Lord, we stand before your Mother, not as distant relative, but as her son and daughter. Mary keeps her eye us, encouraging us to follow her Son and to receive her abundant care for those we love so much. Lord, help us to be mindful of your Mother’s presence in the nuances of our day. We promise to commit daily to calling upon you and Mary for guidance and to open our souls to all that draws us closer to you.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
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