1 Corinthians 11:17-26, 33; Psalm 40:7-10, 17;John 19:25-27
Our Lady of Sorrows
Woman, behold, your son. (John 19:26)
What makes a mother weep? Of course she is upset when her child is hurt, whether he falls and breaks his leg or is the victim of bullying. She wants to take him in her arms and comfort him.
But there is something that distresses a mother even more, and that is when her child hurts someone else, when he fails to be gentle or respectful or kind to another person. This makes her sad because she feels that she has somehow failed in the way she has raised her child.
What made Jesus’ mother weep? Yes, she wept over the suffering her son had to undergo, but she also wept for the people who made him suffer. It grieved her to see the leaders of her people miss what God was offering them and turn against Jesus and all he was teaching. She longed for them to know and experience the forgiveness that Jesus had come to proclaim, the forgiveness he declared from the cross.
Anticipating the role of mother Jesus gave her in today’s Gospel reading, Mary was also grieved that most of his friends had run away. She understood their fear and knew they couldn’t face the seeming finality of his death. She was so concerned for them that she sought them out after the resurrection and joined them in awaiting the gift of the Holy Spirit. Imagine her comforting presence there as they prayed and wondered what would happen next!
In the same way, our heavenly Mother shares our sorrow and reaches out to comfort us when we suffer or are confused. But her tears flow even more fully when she finds us making other people suffer. She knows that we are capable of being and doing so much better.
Our Lady seldom castigates her children, and she never speaks to us without tender love. But if we look carefully, we will see tears running down her cheeks every time we choose selfish paths that harm others.
Let’s invite Mary to give us the gift of genuine sorrow for our own sins so that we can experience the powerful forgiveness and transformation that Jesus’ resurrection has unlocked.
“Mother Mary, show me how to wipe away your tears through my repentance and my care for the people around me.”~WAU