Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, if yesterday we celebrate the great feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, in which we rejoice with God, for the cross which has become a concrete sign of triumph and victory against the devil and his machinations, then today we celebrate the feast and memorial of our Lady of Sorrows, that is of Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus, who was greatly grieved by the suffering and death of her Son at the cross.
Indeed, Jesus is the Son of God, the Word incarnate into flesh. However, many of us often forget that He is also the Son of Mary, for it is through her obedience and acceptance, that the Word of God was able to assume human form in His great humility, to be born from the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, His mother.
Jesus was indeed God in all of His fullness, and He was there before all ages, not counted among the creations, but as the Creator, through whom the Lord created all things. He was not formed as any other children, that is through the union of a male and a female, which bears a new human being. Rather, by the Holy Spirit He was placed in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, assuming the form of a Man.
Nevertheless, we all know that a mother share a special bond with her children, as the child in the womb is nourished by the mother, and the child gets his or her food from the mother herself. Thus, there exists a special link between a mother and her child. The same kind of bond also existed between Mary and her Son Jesus, even though they are not related by blood, but because Jesus Himself once dwelled within the womb of Mary, and then she cared for Him through life as His own loving mother.
You can imagine the kind of feeling that existed within Mary’s heart and the thoughts that ran in her mind as she heard the words of Simeon, who predicted a sorrowful and painful future for her as the Mother of Jesus, a premonition and insight to what would happen in the future of her time, when the Lord Jesus would suffer at the hands of the chief priests and the Pharisees, and then He would endure such brutal treatment that culminated with His death on the cross, a most cruel death.
Yes, and Mary witnessed all of those events. In fact, she followed her Son as He walked down the path of suffering to Calvary, what we also know as the Way of Suffering or Via Dolorosa, from Jerusalem to the hill where Jesus was crucified. She witnessed how her Son was treated like the worst of criminals, even though He was blameless, and how He was framed for false charges and were subjected to lies by false witnesses.
Mary met her Son on His way of suffering, as immortalised through the Stations of the Cross, or Way of the Cross, the fourth station. She followed Him through to His crucifixion, staying close by His side, even witnessing how nails pierced the limbs of her Son, and then she stayed on until He gave up His Spirit and died. Such great indeed was the sorrow and agony that the Blessed Mother of our Lord suffered from, having to witness all these herself.
Yet, Mary remained firm and devoted to the Lord, and she did not doubt the Lord and why such suffering and humiliation occurred to her Son. Mary remained faithful and devoted as she was ever faithful, even though in her heart there was then a great sorrow. But she truly believed in God and in His plans, and just as staunchly and surely as she had said yes to the Archangel Gabriel who brought her the news of her special role in salvation, she also remained as firm as ever in faith throughout that greatest ordeal in her life.
She knew that even with her sorrow and sadness, God was still with her, and that everything was according to God’s plan. And therefore, she is truly our role model in faith, that even in times of difficulty and sorrow, she still held strongly to her faith in the Lord and did not doubt the Lord even for a moment, entrusting everything to God. After all, when the Lord Jesus Christ was risen from the dead, the Lord and His mother both have their final laugh against the devil and the forces of darkness desperately trying to stop God’s will and plan of salvation for mankind.
And this day also, we should reflect once again on the love that a mother has for her children, and in general, the parents’ love for their children. And this love, which should exist in all families united by the Lord, in the recent era and time, especially in our world today, had been gradually eroded by the lack of love and the lack of respect for the institution of the family itself.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, how many of us this day actually support actions that break this harmony and love? How many of us are even involved in activities that snuff out lives from innocent ones? What I am referring is the actions of these days’ peoples who are obsessed with terms such as female rights and equality, as well as rights in general, as justification for actions such as abortion, child abuse and even divorce.
These actions are actions that betray love and destroy life, which should indeed be held sacred in what we know as the institution of the family. Yet the culture of today’s world no longer hold the institution of the family as sacred and as something that must be uphold and protected at all times. Instead, family and the sanctity of life had increasingly become more and more meaningless and less precious as time goes by.
In this, we have to look at the sorrow of Mary, which she expressed on the suffering of her Son and His eventual death on the cross. In that we can clearly see how Mary loved her Son, just as all mothers should love their children. Therefore, it should not even be the case where we treat the lives of the innocent children like as if they are nothing.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we celebrate this feast of our Lady of Sorrow, let us recall the devotion and dedication which Mary had towards the Lord, and the true, genuine and undying love which she had shown to her Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, where we can see how we should also behave in our own families. Our families must be based on love, that is genuine and gentle love between the parents and their children, and must cherish life, instead of the culture of death which we have today.
Mary, our Lady of Sorrows, in your sorrow, may we all grow to rediscover the love in our families, that parents may be more loving and dedicated to their children and vice versa. May Almighty God bless our families with love, so that our families may indeed be beacons of light and faith for the world, and cherish life and harmony, instead of death and apathy. God bless us all. Amen.