Meditation for Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
“Standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and his mother’s sister…” Today we honor the mother of Jesus as ‘Mater Dolorosa’ (Mother of Sorrows). Mary leads us on the path of those saved by the Cross, for from the first moment of her existence, she was saved from every stain of original sin on account of her role as Mother of Jesus and in view of the redemption in Jesus Christ through the Cross. So, we meditate on Mary’s silent position at the foot of the Cross, which is the highest point of Mary’s sorrows.
As the ‘cross’ of Jesus gradually unfolded throughout His life, so Mary was always standing at the ‘foot’ at each moment; she actively participated and journeyed along with her Son. Catholic Tradition summed Mary’s sorrowful journey into seven:
The Prophecy of Simeon
The Flight to Egypt
The loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple
Mary’s meeting Jesus on the fourth station of the Cross
The crucifixion of Jesus
Jesus is taken down from the cross
The Burial of Jesus
Mary bore her sorrows with love and in fulfillment of her vocation. Having surrendered herself to the will of God, she silently followed as God’s will unfolded in her life, even when it was humanly painful. In this way, she shared in her son’s suffering and for His sake. She was mystically wounded in heart as she silently clung to the foot of the cross. Jesus recognized her maternal position at His moment of the cross and said to her, “Woman, behold your son!” Thus, her gaze is redirected to us her children in the faith.
Mater Dolorosa warms our hearts. Our sins bring suffering to the Body of Christ. And as Jesus steps in to heal us and save us, Mary’s maternal presence silently urges us on that we might come to Jesus and be healed. Therefore, loaded with our burdens of suffering, we stand with Mary at foot of the Cross, so that Jesus may look down and behold us under her maternal mantle. For to us, He says, “Behold your mother!”
Our Lady of Sorrows, Pray for us. Amen.