mother of sorrows
"Near the cross of Jesus there stood His mother." —John 19:25
Yesterday we celebrated the Exaltation of the Holy Cross; today we celebrate the sorrows of the cross for Mary and for all those who have chosen to take up their daily crosses (Lk 9:23). We received the triumphs of the cross when we were baptized into the new life in Jesus. We experience the sorrows of the cross in addition to its triumphs when we faithfully and daily live our Baptism. Finally, we receive the ultimate triumph of the cross when Jesus returns or our spirits are raised from the dead — whichever comes first.
The sorrows of the cross are between its triumphs. "Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be revealed" (2 Cor 4:10). We "fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His body, the church" (Col 1:24). Like Mary, our hearts are pierced with a sword of sorrow (Lk 2:35). Like Jesus, we learn obedience from what we suffer (Heb 5:8).
"It is your special privilege to take Christ's part — not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for Him" (Phil 1:29). It is your privilege to love enough to be a sorrowful mother, sorrowful father, or sorrowful Christian. "Blest too are the sorrowing; they shall be consoled" (Mt 5:4). "Rejoice instead, in the measure that you share Christ's sufferings. When His glory is revealed, you will rejoice exultantly" (1 Pt 4:13). Mother of Sorrows, pray for us.
Prayer: Father, may I know how to share in Christ's "sufferings by being formed into the pattern of His death" (Phil 3:10).
Promise: Jesus "became the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him." —Heb 5:9
Praise: Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, forgave and prayed with those apostles who abandoned her Son to a violent death (see Acts 1:13-14).
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Redemptive Suffering on audio AV 75-1 or video V-75.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 18, 2015
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