Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (15th September, 2018) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Ps 30:2-6.15-16.20. (R. v.17);
Jn 19:25-27 or Lk 2:33-35.
We commemorate Mary’s sharing in the sufferings of her only son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is viewed as the fulfilment of the prophesy of Blessed Simeon, “a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Lk 2:35). Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows became very popular in the monastic Cistercian and mendicant Servite orders in the 13th century. This memorial was first celebrated by the Servites. In 1814, Pope Pius VII extended it to the universal church. Pope Saint Pius X moved it to September 15 in 1913. The Servites also gave us the Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows encouraging meditation on seven events in the life of Mary.
Topic: Where is Jesus’ mother?
In today’s gospel (Jn 19:25-27), while Jesus was hanging on the cross, the disciple whom He loved was standing beside His mother. Jesus said to His mother, “Woman, here is your son.” And to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” The gospel further reads, “And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.”
Christ prayed that all His disciples may perfectly be one, cf. Jn 17:11. 21-23. However, enmity among His disciples keeps skyrocketing without a just cause. Each group claims to be God’s chosen and that He hears no other voice but theirs. Some see and treat others as pagans. As a result of the confusion, none sees anything good in whatever others do. And this affects a lot of things with particular reference to the honour due to the mother of Jesus.
Mary stood with Jesus from His conception to His death on the cross. The bible attests to this. She carried Him for nine months in her womb, cf. Lk 1:31.2:3-7. Mary and Saint Joseph presented Him in the temple, cf. Lk 2:33-35. When He remained in Jerusalem, they searched for Him for three days, cf. Lk 2:41-46. At her request, Jesus performed His first miracle when His time had not reached, cf. Jn 2:1-11. In today’s gospel, she was with Him at the climax of His suffering. She did not even retire after His death, resurrection, and ascension. She stayed and prayed with His disciples, cf. Acts 1:14. We limit ourselves to these.
Jesus promised that whoever endures to the end will be saved, cf. Matt 10:22. 24:13; Mk 13:13. Again, that He will give to those who stood by Him a kingdom, cf. Lk 22:28-30. Mary was never found wanting in any of the criteria Jesus use to reward His disciples. Therefore, since she stood so faithfully, she can’t miss now. Whoever thinks that she is given too much ought to know that it is God himself who raised her up, cf. Lk 1:28,30-33, 41-45,48-49. And she gave herself entirely, cf. Lk 1:38.
As we struggle to have Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour, it is important also to consider the place of Mary in our lives. Immediately Jesus gave John to her, the gospel reads, “And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home”. Where do you keep Jesus’ mother?
Bible Reading: Lk 2:22-51.
Thought for today: Mary shared in Jesus’ suffering.
Let us pray: Lord, open our hearts to understand how much your mother shared in your suffering – Amen.
Our Lady of Sorrows – Pray for us.
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