Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, following after yesterday’s major commemoration of the triumph of the Holy Cross, we remember our Lord’s sorrowful mother Mary, also known as our Lady of Sorrows. We know Mary as the Mother of our Lord and God, but at the same time, she herself had endured such a great suffering and pain, after having brought up her Son in love, she had to witness how her own Son suffered and eventually died on the cross.
And Mary herself had known this ever since she was chosen by God to be the one to bear the Saviour of the world. God made it known to her through many means that her role would not be an easy one, but would be filled with challenges and sorrow would also fill her heart, as the prophetess Anna and Simeon the prophet would say to her that a sword would pierce her heart, even as she and St. Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple to be offered and presented to God.
She knew that her role and work in this world would not be an easy one. Many strange happenings occurred ever since the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her. Three wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to her Son at His birth, proclaiming Him as Lord and the long awaited Messiah. But no one normally would give a gift of myrrh to someone, as it is a substance usually used in the preservation of the body of the dead.
And Jesus was lost in the Temple for three days, and when Mary and Joseph found Him, He spoke of having to be in His Father’s house. All these pointed to the very unusual role that Jesus, the Son of Mary would do in order to save all mankind. And as He grew up to be a Man strong and blessed by God His Father, more and more miraculous and great deeds He had performed, to the amazement of many, and as He embarked on His mission to save the world, throngs of people followed Him.
Throughout all these, what did Mary do? If we read from the Gospels, we would see how Mary kept all of them in her heart, and put her trust in the Lord over all the things that happened, knowing fully that the Lord had His plans for her, and through her obedience and the love which she had for her Son, Jesus, she followed through everything faithfully, and eventually, walking the same path of suffering, following Jesus on His way to the cross.
A mother must have loved her child, and that could not be more true in the case of Mary, in her love for Jesus her Son. No mother should ever see or witness her child suffers, and yet there was Mary watching the whole scene of how her Son suffered at the hands of His persecutors and enemies, casted out, rejected, spit against, and tortured, and she had to bear the agony of watching the great agony of her Son Jesus as He laid hanging on the cross at Calvary.
And she bore it all with faith, with strength and courage that few if none could match. Sorrowful as she was, and filled with agony as she was, she never once lost hope in her Son, knowing that what He has done, He did in order to save all of mankind, the mission for which He had come into this world for. And as a loving and devoted mother, Mary devoted herself to the mission which has been entrusted to her, that is to love her Son with all of her heart.
How is this relevant to us, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is relevant because the sufferings of Christ are our sufferings, for He Himself had borne all of the consequences and punishments for our own sins and wickedness. And Jesus Himself had entrusted His mother Mary to us and we all to her at the same time, when He laid dying on the cross, and spoke to her and to His disciple St. John the Apostle and Evangelist.
At that moment, He entrusted Mary to John’s care and vice versa. And through that very act, He therefore also entrusted her to us as our mother as well, and all of us were entrusted to her same loving care, the very same one she had shown to her Son Jesus. And if Mary sorrowed because of the pains and sufferings that Jesus suffered which is our sins, then should we all not take heed and learn that the more we sin, the more we cause sorrow to our beloved mother?
To that extent, she has appeared many times over the centuries, in the numerous apparitions approved by the Church, foremost and most renowned of which are the apparitions in Lourdes and Fatima. And in all of these, she appeared before some of us, speaking and calling fervently for our repentance, and for us to turn our backs to sin and abandon our wickedness, that we may find our way back to the Lord and His merciful love.
Mary is our greatest intercessor and help before God, for she alone stood nearest to the throne of God’s Mercy, as she is His mother, who have interceded for our sake for a long, long time, praying for the sake of each and every one of us. Shall we then appreciate what our beloved mother Mary had done for us? She has loved us all just as she loved her Son Jesus, and she wants all of us to be saved, and not to suffer as her Son had suffered, which He did for our sake.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us ask Mary, our Lady of Sorrows, to pray for us, while we ourselves do our best and commit ourselves to repent from our sinful ways. Sorrowful and with grief we walk through this life, that one day our sorrow and sadness may be lifted from us, and that God will replace these with the joy and happiness of His everlasting grace. Mary, o our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.