September 15, 2023
by Angela Maynard
Creighton University - retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
Lectionary: 441/639

1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14
Psalm 16:1b-2a and 5, 7-8, 11
John 19:25-27 OR Luke 2:33-35
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Today’s gospel takes us to the foot of the cross.  Very simply, Jesus looks at his mother who is accompanied by disciples. He says “Woman, behold your son.” I cannot imagine anything more devastating than what Mary witnessed during the crucifixion.  As a pediatric critical nurse, I had the opportunity to walk with too many mothers as they lost children. I remain in touch with some of ‘my’ families.  The lesson I’ve learned through this journey is that this is truly a pain from which one doesn’t ever fully recover. The pain is severe no matter what the circumstance. Today, the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, we remember the suffering Mary experienced in relation to Jesus.

I can only imagine the daily suffering she endured as she watched her son experience endless mockery as he spread the word of His Father.

As a mother, I look to Mary often—usually in a time of worry or need.  She’s always there and brings me a sense of calm and direction. I have prayed to her through my career to be with those mothers who have lost children, and for those who are dealing with difficulties related to their children.

Today, take some time to reflect on the seven sorrows of Mary:

  1. At the prophecy of Simeon: "You yourself shall be pierced with a sword - so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare." (Luke 2:35).
  2. At the flight into Egypt; "Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt." (Mt 2:13).
  3. Having lost the Holy Child at Jerusalem; "You see that your father and I have been searching for you in sorrow." (Luke 2:48).
  4. Meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary;
  5. Standing at the foot of the Cross; "Near the cross of Jesus there stood His mother." (John 19:25).
  6. Jesus being taken from the Cross;
  7. At the burial of Christ.

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