Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.”
Jesus here sees his mother standing at the foot of the cross with the disciple he loved, calling her “woman,” connecting her with Eve, the first woman. Sin came into the world through Eve; unlike Eve, our Lady is the mother of the humanity redeemed by her Son. Mary—the sinless one—here becomes the mother of all people.
Mary knew sorrow. Indeed seeing her son agonizing on the cross would have been a terrible source of suffering. It also enables her to enter into our sorrows, not only physical sufferings like illness and death but also the struggles that are ours as we deal with sin in the world and ourselves.
When Pope Francis visited the shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows in Slovakia, his homily referred to the alternate gospel passage for today’s memorial. “In the Temple of Jerusalem,” he said, “Mary offers the baby Jesus to the aged Simeon, who takes him in his arms and acknowledges him as the Messiah sent for the salvation of Israel. Here we see Mary for who she truly is: the Mother who gives us her son Jesus. That is why we love her and venerate her. In the light of the gospel we have just heard, we can contemplate Mary as a model of faith.”
By honoring Our Lady at Mass under the title of Our Lady of Sorrows on this day, we remember the sacrifice that Christ made for us, and we are united with his Mother in her grief for the sins of the world that led to the crucifixion of her Son.
Let Us Pray:
O dear Jesus, help to hear addressed to me, “My child, behold your mother.” Help me also to honor her as you did.