Our Lady of Sorrows, Saturday, 15-09-18
Hebrews 5:7-9 / John 19:25-27 or Luke 2:33-35
We may wonder why the Church picks those moments of grief and sorrow and suffering and turns it into a celebration.
Yesterday we celebrated the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
Today we bring our hearts back to the foot of the Cross and enter into the grief and sorrow of our Lady.
Maybe there are certain things in life that can be learnt through sorrow and suffering.
The cross, a symbol of shame and death is turned by Christ into a symbol of life and glory.
As Mary stood by the cross in sorrow and pain, she was also changed and transformed.
In that moment of her greatest sorrow, Christ proclaimed Mary to be the Mother of the Church.
By dying on the cross, Christ gave life to us and gave Mary to be our Mother.
So when sorrow and suffering are put into the hands of God, something beautiful happens, something glorious happens.
When we meet with troubles or distress, or sorrow and suffering, let us go to Mary and stand with her at the foot of the cross.
Even when we sink into the depths of sorrow and suffering, God assures us this: a beautiful moment is about to happen, a glorious moment is about to begin.
Let us stay close to Mary and we will share in the glory of the cross.
Our Lady of Sorrows is one of the more prominent titles of our Lady. The other associated titles are Sorrowful Mother or Mother of Sorrows, and Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows.
All these titles obviously refer to the profound moments of sorrow and grief in the life of Mary.
Among the devotions to Our Lady of Sorrows is the meditation and reflection of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.
The following are the Seven Sorrows of Mary:
1. The Prophecy of Simeon. (Luke 2:34-35)
2. The Flight into Egypt. (Matthew 2:13)
3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:43-45)
4. Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary (Stations of the Cross)
5. Jesus Dies on the Cross. (John 19:25)
6. Mary Receives the Body of Jesus in her Arms. (Matthew 27:57-59)
7. The Body of Jesus Is Placed in the Tomb. (John 19:40-42)
It goes without saying that even the Mother of Jesus was not spared of any suffering and sorrows. Yet Mary's sufferings and sorrows are intimately united with with the sufferings and sorrows of Jesus as we can see the the Seven Sorrows of Mary.
Mary's sufferings and sorrows also made her united with us in our own sufferings and sorrows in life. At least we can imagine how she felt when people say her: Oh, so you are the the mother of that Jesus!
God did not save Mary from sorrow and suffering, just as He did not save Jesus from death.
But as we heard in the 1st reading, Jesus submitted humbly to God who saved Him out of death, likewise Mary also submitted humbly to God even though the sword of sorrow pierced her heart.
Mary believed that God will save her out of her sorrow and suffering. May we united ourselves with Mary and believe likewise.
In our journey through life, we have walked the path of sorrow and grief. And many times too.
In fact, no one can ever say that they don't know what sadness or sorrow or grief is all about.
And maybe too many people have walked that path that each one has a sad story to tell.
And it is quite frustrating when you want to share a sadness that has overcome your heart with another person and then that person tells you that yours is nothing compared to what he is going through and then you hear another sad story that makes you even more depressed and frustrated.
Today, as we remember our Lady by one of her titles "Our Lady of Sorrows", we know of her grief and sadness as she stood by the cross and watch her son being crucified to death.
That sword of sorrow pierced deep into her heart, and we who have experienced sorrow and grief would know what she had gone through.
Much had been said of her sorrow and much more can be said. But on this feast of "Our Lady of Sorrows", we stand with Mary at the foot of the cross.
We now tell her the sorrow in our hearts and as we stand with her by the cross may we also receive the strength and consolation that Jesus will give us through the power of His cross.
Jesus and Mary had gone through their share of sorrow and sufferings and they want to be with us as we walk the path that they had walked.
May the strength and consolation that they give us in turn empower us to be with those who are suffering and in sorrow so that we will be companions with them in their sufferings.