Tuesday, 15 September 2020 : 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, the day after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we celebrate the feast of Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows. It is interesting that after the high of the celebrations of the joyful exaltation and triumph of the Holy Cross yesterday, then we come to the remembrance of the sorrows of our Blessed Mother, who was sorrowful at the suffering and death of her Son.

But in truth, this is an important reminder that the Cross of Christ, while it is a sign of great victory and triumph against sin, evil and darkness, but it is also where our Lord and Saviour suffered grievously for the sins and faults that He had willingly bore for our sake, every blows and wounds that He bore up to the Cross, as a most worthy offering to God, for the redemption of all mankind and atonement of all of our sins.

And in all these, His mother, Mary, grieved as a mother should when the mother sees the suffering of the child. As the mother grieved in seeing her son suffers, Mary saw her own Son, born of her womb and Whom she took care all her life, suffering so much for the sake of the whole world, fulfilling the task which had been entrusted to Him as the Saviour of the world. And Mary saw all of that, and faithfully walked beside her Son, following Him as He took the last steps of the journey towards His crucifixion.

It must have been painful for Mary to witness such a horrific scene happening before her, as she saw her Son suffering in such a manner, deprived of all dignity and honour, betrayed and cast aside by the authorities and the people, condemned to death for faults that were not His. Yet, Mary obeyed perfectly and completely to the will of God, and bore her sorrows with the faith and knowledge that everything would happen as God willed it.

It must have indeed been most sorrowful for a mother to witness her own child’s death, but that was exactly what happened as Mary beheld the lifeless body of her Son, at the foot of the Cross. This is most commonly depicted as Our Lady of Sorrows, the most sorrowful and sad depiction of Mary, as a loving Mother holding her Son, His mission fulfilled and completed, but with sorrow piercing her heart seeing all that happened.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we can just see how great Mary’s faith and dedication is, that despite her sorrows and the trials she had to endure, she remained firmly committed to the cause and mission that has been entrusted to her. And seeing her Son suffered in such a way, certainly brought Mary to shown great concern and love for each and every one of us, whom by adoption into the Church, has become her own children and beloved ones.

That is why, if we notice, Mary has appeared many times to many people in various times and places, all with the similar message imploring us mankind to turn away from our sins, to repent sincerely and to embrace God’s forgiveness and most generous mercy. That is because she knew full well the suffering that we all will endure for our sins, in the suffering that her Son had endured and which she had witnessed herself as she followed Him faithfully right up to the foot of the cross.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we commemorate this Feast of Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, let us all look up to Mary, our loving Mother for her exemplary faith and dedication to God. Let us all be ever more faithful and turn away from our wickedness, from our actions that had brought scandal to our faith, and genuinely seek God’s forgiveness so that we may be forgiven our sins and be worthy of the eternal glory, life and joy that will be ours in God’s presence.

Let us turn to our sorrowful and loving Mother and comfort her by our dedication and desire to lead a more Christ-like life, to obey the Law of God and to follow His will in every actions and deeds we have, and to be shining beacons of Christian faith for one another in this darkened world. Let us all sin no more, and strive to follow our Mother’s faithful examples, so that we may receive the crown of eternal life and glory, and triumph with the Holy Cross of Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

May the Lord, our crucified Messiah and loving Saviour continue to bless and guide us, and may His ever loving Mother continue to show her tender care towards us all. O Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us all sinners, and pray that we may all endeavour to turn away from our wicked sins, and enter into God’s mercy and forgiveness. Amen.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020 : 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.”

Tuesday, 15 September 2020 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 30 : 2-3ab, 3cd-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!

Tuesday, 15 September 2020 : 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.

Friday, 15 September 2017 : 23rd 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.”

(Usus Antiquior) Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 21 September 2014 : Holy Gospel

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke

Luke 7 : 11-16

In illo tempore : Ibat Jesus in civitatem, quae vocatur Naim : et ibant cum eo discipuli ejus et turba copiosa. Cum autem appropinquaret portae civitatis, ecce, defunctus efferebatur filius unicus matris suae : et haec vidua erat : et turba civitatis multa cum illa.

Quam cum vidisset Dominus, misericordia motus super eam, dixit illi : Noli flere. Et accessit et tetigit loculum. Hi aurem, qui portabant, steterunt. Et ait : Adolescens, tibi dico, surge. Et resedit, qui erat mortuus, et coepit loqui. Et dedit illum matri suae.

Accepit autem omnes timor : et magnificabant Deum, dicentes : Quia Propheta magnus surrexit in nobis : et quia Deus visitavit plebem suam.

English translation

At that time, Jesus went into a city called Naim, and there went with Him His disciples, and a great multitude. And when He came nigh to the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and many people of the city were with her.

And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” And He came near and touched the bier, and those who carried it stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother.

And there came a fear on all of them, and they glorified God, saying, “A great Prophet has risen up amongst us and God had visited His people.”

Monday, 15 September 2014 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

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.

Monday, 15 September 2014 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 19 : 25-27

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, “There is your mother.”

And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.

Alternative reading

Luke 2 : 33-35

Jesus’ father and mother 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.”

Monday, 15 September 2014 : 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 Lord, 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 Lord, faithful God.

But I put My trust in You, o Lord, 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!

Monday, 15 September 2014 : 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.