Mary: A Woman of Sorrows

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When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:26-27)

Yesterday, we celebrated the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, today, we are celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. From the moment Mary said her fiat to God “Let it be done to me according to your Word,” it was never an easy ride for her. From the census to the birth of Jesus in a manger, the flight to Egypt, the finding of Jesus in the temple, etc. Mary suffered greatly.

Mary’s sorrows peaked on the Cross of Calvary where she had to watch Jesus being crucified like a common criminal. As the saying goes: “It is harder to watch the pains of those we love than to bear our own pains.”

Once upon a time, Jesus was entering a city and saw a man being carried for burial. He was the only son of his mother. When Jesus (being an only son himself) saw her tears, He went said to her: “Do not weep” then He raised her son to life. (Cf. Luke 7:12-15). Jesus must have felt very sad on the Cross when he saw Mary. He said to her: “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” (John 19:26-27).

John tells us: “And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own home.” This passage explains our devotion to Mary. As Christians, we take Mary home by reflecting on her life and imitating her good deeds and sanctity. Some of the lessons of today’s feast include:

1. Following Christ does not make us immune to suffering. Many Christians wrongly assume that the death of Christ on the cross automatically cancels any form of discomfort or displeasure completely from their lives. This is not true. Saying “Yes” to God’s plan entails embracing pain, sorrow, and difficulties. “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household?” (Matthew 10:25)

2. Mary never complained despite all that she suffered. When Simon prophesied what she would go through, “a sword will pierce through your heart” (Luke 2:35), we are told that Mary simply treasured these things in her heart. Mary remains a model in terms of how we are to deal with pain. This is why whenever we are sorrowful, we should run to her maternal embrace. Mary who felt the pain of the couple at the wedding feast, when they ran out of wine, would surely speak to her son Jesus on our behalf when things are not going right for us.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, in my moments of pain, strengthen my faith never give up on you. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Bible Study: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalm 78 & John 19:25-27).

Fr. Abu