REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
September 15, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:34-35.
It is not difficult to understand the love a mother has for her children. A mother carries her baby in her womb for nine months before giving birth to her child. In a deep sense, it can be said that the mother “knits” her baby in her womb and it is truly flesh from her flesh. So, the intense sorrow of a mother is also understandable when she sees her child being tortured and dies, especially if that is her only child.
Today as we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, we try to enter into the profound sorrow of the heart of our Blessed Mother as she endured the sufferings of her Son. This feast brings us back to the Cross where Jesus was crucified and hung dying in front of his mother. In that intense moment of sorrow, the dying Jesus saw His mother and the disciple He loved standing near her, and He said to His mother, “Woman, this is your son”
Mother Mary loved her Son Jesus with the perfect love of a mother. Interestingly, it was that perfect love she had in her heart for Jesus that was the source of her deep spiritual suffering. Her love drew her to be present to Jesus in His own Cross and sufferings. And for that reason, as Jesus suffered, so did His mother.
But her suffering was not one of despair, it was a suffering of love. Therefore, her sorrow was not a sadness; rather, it was a profound sharing in all that Jesus endured. Her heart was perfectly united with her Son’s and, therefore, she endured all that He endured. This is true love on the deepest and most beautiful level.
On this feast of her Sorrowful Heart, we are called to live in union with the Blessed Mother’s sorrow. As we love her, we find ourselves feeling the same pain and suffering her heart still experiences as a result of the sins of the world. Those sins, including our own sins, are what nailed her Son to the Cross.
When we love our Blessed Mother and her Son Jesus, we will also grieve over sin; first our own and then the sins of others. But it’s important to know that the sorrow we experience over sin is also a sorrow of love. It’s a holy sorrow that ultimately motivates us to a deeper compassion and deeper unity with those around us, especially those who are wounded and those caught in sin. It also motivates us to turn from sin in our own lives.
This feast of our Lady of Sorrows reminds us that Our Lady cries in sorrow for each of her children who dies in the torment of injustice as Jesus did. Mary also cries in sorrow when each of her children dies in sin and eternal damnation.
Reflect, today, upon the perfect love of the heart of our Blessed Mother. That love is capable of rising above all suffering and pain and is the same love God wants to place in your heart. Let us turn away from sin and work for peace and justice and pray with Mary for the conversion of sinner so that the sorrow of all mothers will be consoled.
Lord, help me to love with the love of Your dear Mother. Help me to feel the same holy sorrow she felt and to allow that holy sorrow to deepen my concern and compassion for all those who suffer. Jesus, I trust in You. Mother Mary, pray for us.