September 15, 2016*
by Andy Alexander, S.J.
Creighton University's Collaborative Ministry Office
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

1 Timothy 3:1-13
Psalm 101:1b-2ab, 2cd-3ab, 5, 6
John 19:25-27 or Luke 2:33-35

Praying Ordinary Time

Dear Mary, Full of Grace and Blessed among women and men,

You are the Mother of my Lord and God. You gave birth to our Salvation. When we contemplate the mystery of your motherhood, we delight in thinking of Jesus' having your face, your gestures and mannerisms. He has your hair, your skin, your eyes and your voice. What a joy it must have been for you and Joseph to simply look at him. Joseph, who loved you so much, must have seen you in him every day.

You raised Jesus to know the Scriptures: to pray the Psalms and to love the history and the Prophets. You taught him to say "yes" as deeply as you made yourself servant of God's call.

You could not have imagined what Simeon meant when he predicted that a sword would pass through your heart. Was it the fact that so many in Nazareth and in your family thought that you were either unfaithful to Joseph or un-chaste with him? Was it the death of Joseph? Did you raise other children, perhaps from a previous marriage of Joseph's or the children of deceased relatives? Did you feel the loss Jesus must have felt of not having a wife, a companion in life? Did an adult Jesus come to a sense from the Scriptures and his discussions with you, what his mission would mean and how his good news would be rejected? Was it the day Jesus left home to begin his public ministry? Was it your own decision to leave Nazareth and to accompany him, his disciples and the wonderful women who supported them? So many swords passing through your heart and yet none would prepare you for what was to come.

Mary, you are the mother of compassion. We can turn to you in any suffering we have. We know that you can and will understand. You can and will be with us in our journey.

O, Mother, so familiar with sorrow, please place me with your Son. Help me to remember his love for me. O, Mary, faithful witness at the foot of your Son's cross, help me to be faithful each day to being grateful for what Jesus did, what he won for me. Fill my heart with compassion. Help me to imitate your Son in loving others, in being able to sacrifice my needs for theirs. Help me to love completely, as you taught Jesus to love with all his heart.

I am so sorry for what my sin has done to cost you so much pain, such terrible loss. I am comforted to know that you now know the full scope of what your Son has done as our Lord and Savior. Help me to give him thanks with your grateful heart.

O, Mother of Sorrow and Fidelity, help me to be with your Son and more and more like him.

* This reflection from the archives appeared for this memorial in 2010.

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