Wednesday, 15 September 2021 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, which is always celebrated on the day after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, reminding us of the important role that Mary, our Lady of Sorrows and the Mother of God, played in the history of our salvation, and how faithful she has been in obeying God’s will and in following her Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as He went to fulfil the mission entrusted to Him by His heavenly Father.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, just as the Lord Jesus picked up His Cross on His shoulders and journeyed with much pain and sufferings, with scourges and wounds onwards to the hill of Golgotha or Calvary, the place of His execution, Mary followed Him throughout, shadowing Him along the journey, and it was also told by tradition that they also met each other during that Way of Sorrows, as Mary beheld her beloved Son, scourged and bruised from His many wounds.

We can only imagine just what kind of sorrow and suffering that Mary herself had experienced as she beheld her Son in such a state, rejected by the people that He had loved and cared for, condemned to die for sins that He did not commit, scourged and broken, tortured and bleeding from His many wounds. No mother should ever have to see her own children suffering, and yet, that was what Mary precisely experienced as she walked the Via Dolorosa together with her Son, on the way to Calvary.

Yet, just as the Lord Jesus remained faithful and firm to His convictions, holding up His Cross despite falling on three occasions, and reaching the place of His crucifixion, Mary also remained firm in her dedication to her Son, her great love for Him, that she stayed by His side even to the foot of the Cross. She looked upon her Son on the Cross as He laboured and spent the time of suffering for the atonement of all of our sins, fulfilling what the Lord has promised to all of us. Just as the prophet Simeon had said, a sword truly must have pierced Mary’s heart, seeing all that unfolding before her own eyes.

And from the Cross, the Lord then entrusted His own mother to the care of St. John the Apostle, His beloved disciple, to be his own mother and for him to be her own son. Through this significant and symbolic act in fact, the Lord entrusted His Church, that is all of us, to His own mother Mary, giving her to us to be our mother and our caretaker, as a loving mother to her children, ever worried and concerned about us, and ever dedicated to each and every one of us, as her own adopted sons and daughters.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is little wonder then why the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Our Lady of Sorrows appeared quite often especially after periods of great turmoil and troubles, during times of war and destruction. In many times she has shown herself in many forms, to serve as a reminder to each and every one of us, passing to us her wish and the message, that all of us may be converted to the truth and embrace the salvation that her own Son, Our Lord and Saviour has offered to us freely from the Cross.

In all of those occasions, Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows always called for us to turn back towards the Lord and be converted, to pray and to do our best efforts to contribute to the conversion of souls. Having seen how her Son had suffered under the weight of the burden of our many sins, all of His wounds and scourges essentially were due to our many faults and trespasses, which He bore out of love for us, henceforth, it is no surprise that Mary has always been concerned for us, as our own loving mother, who does not want to see her children to fall into the eternal damnation in hell.

That is why, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we celebrate this Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows and as we recall the celebrations of yesterday’s Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we as the people of God, as fellow Christians, let us all help one another and be sources of inspiration to lead us all towards the path of redemption and eternal life in God. Let us all be courageous to stand up to our faith and be truly committed to God in all things, that by our deeds and commitment, many more may also come to believe in God.

Let us all confide in our sorrowful mother, Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, who is always sorrowful upon seeing our many sins, the same sins that have caused her Son, Our Lord and Saviour, so much pain. Let us all ask her for her constant intercession, that she will continue to pray for us, even to the hour of our death, for the sake of all of us, sinners unworthy of God, and yet beloved and whom God desired to forgive, out of His everlasting love for us. May God be with us always, and may His beloved mother, Our Lady of Sorrows, continue to watch over us. Amen.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 19 : 25-27

At that time, near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw the mother, and the disciple whom He loved, He said to the mother, “Woman, this is your son.”

Then He said to the disciple, “This is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.

Alternative reading

Luke 2 : 33-35

At that time, the father and mother of Jesus wondered at what was said about the Child. Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, His mother, “Know this : your Son is a Sign; a Sign established for the falling and rising of many in Israel, a Sign of contradiction; and a sword will pierce your own soul, so that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

Wednesday, 15 September 2021 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 30 : 2-3a, 3bc-4, 5-6, 15-16, 20

In You, o YHVH, I take refuge, may I never be disgraced; deliver me in Your justice. Give heed to my plea, and make haste to rescue me.

Be a Rock of refuge for me, a Fortress for my safety. For You are my Rock and my Stronghold, lead me for Your Name’s sake.

Free me from the snare that they have set for me. Indeed You are my Protector. Into Your hands I commend my spirit; You have redeemed me, o YHVH, faithful God.

But I put my trust in You, o YHVH, I said : “You are my God.” My days are in Your hand. Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, from those after my skin.

How great is the goodness which You have stored for those who fear You, which You show, for all to see, to those who take refuge in You!

Wednesday, 15 September 2021 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Hebrews 5 : 7-9

Christ, in the days of His mortal life, offered His sacrifice with tears and cries. He prayed to Him, Who could save Him from death, and He was heard, because of His humble submission. Although He was Son, He learnt, through suffering, what obedience was, and, once made perfect, He became the Source of eternal salvation, for those who obey Him.