OUR LADY OF SORROWS (Memorial) White
First Reading: 1Tim 1:1-2. 12-14; Psalm: 16. R. v. 5a; Gospel: Jn 19:25b-27
THE SEVEN SORROWS OF MARY
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
It was at the wedding at Cana that Jesus first addressed his mother with the title ‘woman.’ At the foot of the cross, he addressed his mother a second time with this similar title. This unusual title goes back to the first promise of redemption: “I will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman.” (Gen 3:15). Mary became the “new Eve” whose obedience to God reversed the penalty due to sin. And Jesus the “new Adam” brought salvation to the world through his saving death. Through Mary’s offspring, Satan was crushed and defeated.
Simeon the priest had previously made a prophecy that Mary’s heart would be pierced with a sword that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare. This was the first of the seven sorrows of Mary which was fulfilled at the crucifixion. While Jesus hung on the cross, Mary watched as her son died helplessly in pain which was also one of her seven sorrows. Mary became our mother and the suffering mother of the Church when Jesus handed her over to John the beloved disciple as he hung on the cross. Just as Mary endured the seven sorrows that came her way because she accepted the will of God for her; so should we bear the sorrows of true discipleship.
We can meditate on the Seven Sorrows of Mary:
- The prophecy of Simeon.
- The flight into Egypt.
- The loss of the child Jesus in the Temple.
- Meeting Jesus carrying his Cross.
- The Crucifixion.
- Mary receiving the Body of Jesus from the Cross.
- The burying of the Body of Jesus in the tomb.
As we meditate on them, let us ask Mary our Mother of sorrows to intercede for us that we may have the fortitude and courage to offer up our pains and sorrows to Jesus as our own little way of making reparation for our sins and the sins of the whole world. For we waste our pains and sorrows when we experience them for the sake of our faith without offering them as prayer to God as a way of sharing in the sufferings of Christ and his sorrowful mother.
Our Lady of Sorrows, Pray for us.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Mary, Mother of sorrow, intercede for us to faithfully bear our sorrows patiently as you did as the faithful mother of God. Amen.