MEMORIAL OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS
1 Corinthians 12: 12-14, 27-31a
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts.
Psalm 100: 1b-5
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Luke 2: 33-35
And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
The Gospel Acclamation verse for today's Mass reads: "Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary; without dying you won the martyr's crown beneath the Cross of the Lord."
These poignant words tie into Simeon's prophesy in today's Gospel reading, which recounts the Presentation of Jesus, when Mary and Joseph had come to the Temple to present their child to the Lord according to Jewish custom. While this story is one of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, Simeon's joy at encountering the Savior was intermingled with gravity as he foretold the opposition that Jesus would encounter, and disclosed to Mary what offering her Son to God was going to entail. For as Jesus was crushed by the sin of mankind, she likewise took on that weight watching her beloved Son suffer and die at the hands of sinners. While Jesus was called to lay down His life, Mary was called to offer up her baby's life for the sake of mankind. And though she always acted in obedience to God's will, this sacrifice did a great violence to her heart.
While it is distressing to think about, it is appropriate that we take time to reflect on and reverence the sorrows of the Blessed Mother. Along with Jesus' Passion and Death, Mary's sorrow is sacred and not something to be forgotten even though the story had a happy ending. It is likewise fitting to remember that as her suffering is united to the sorrow of the Cross, it is also united to its victory. Her sorrow is not just empty pain, but is full of power and brings new life, as she carries those who are farthest from God in her sorrowful heart, which is very close to the heart of Jesus.
On this Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, let us take time to reflect on the suffering of our Heavenly Mother, to grieve our sin and the sin of others, and to entrust our heaviest prayer intentions to her intercession, preferably by praying the Rosary. May we find solace in our own suffering and confidence in her motherly love and care. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!