REFLECTION FOR TODAY
September 15, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Jn. 19:25
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the most blessed, even privileged person to come from God. She was chosen to be the mother of the only begotten son of God. The Blessed Virgin loved her Son with a perfect love. She enfleshed every virtue to perfection. It’s difficult to even imagine the depth and beauty of the love she had for Jesus.
The Mother of God also knew the depth of human sorrow. Just days after her son’s birth, the Prophet Simeon told her “A sword will pierce your own soul”. Our gospel reference today from the account of the crucifixion, shows both the love and sorrow of a mother. Imagine this loving mother as she stood at the foot of the Cross, gazing upon her crucified Son.
It is hard to imagine the depth of sorrow and interior suffering the Blessed Virgin Mary endured as she watched the cruelty toward Jesus unfold. All she could do in that moment was stand by Him and with Him in this moment of extreme agony. Her love was expressed, in that moment, by her fidelity to Him.
What’s beautiful to know is that love, sorrow, compassion, and suffering were united within her Immaculate Heart. Within the beauty of her heart was every human emotion, fueled by God’s grace, enabling her to give to her Son the greatest gift she had: her motherhood. She was a true mother throughout her life, and, in this moment, as her Son hung on the Cross, her motherhood culminated in a perfect human expression.
We all long to be loved by another. To give and receive love is the greatest gift that we can give and receive. Love is what we were made for and is the source of our fulfillment in life. We can be certain that as Mother Mary stood at the foot of the Cross, her human heart experienced the greatest fulfillment ever known. Her heart was fulfilled because she exercised her motherly love to perfection.
Reflect today on the image of the Mother of God. Ponder, especially, all that she would have experienced within her human heart. Ask our Blessed Mother to reveal her heart to you today. Find some time to sit in silent adoration of this holy image of perfect motherly love. As you do, know two things. First, know that Mother Mary has this same depth of love for you. Do not doubt it. Her heart burns with compassion as she gazes upon you, even in your sin. Second, know that our Blessed Mother’s love must also fill your heart and overflow into the lives of others. We all must allow her compassion, concern, fidelity, and mercy to flow through our hearts. Who do you need to love with the heart of our Blessed Mother?
My Immaculate and Sorrowful Mother, you stood at the foot of the Cross of your Son with the perfection of a mother’s love. Your heart was filled with a sorrow that was mixed with every holy virtue. Pray for me that I may understand this love more fully, so that I may also open my own heart to your love. As I do, I pray that I will become an instrument of the love in your heart toward those in my life who suffer and are in most need of tender compassion and mercy. Sorrowful Heart of Mary, pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You.