Tuesday, September 15, 2015 ~ Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
Holy Gospel: John 19:25-27 Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 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.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
Meditation: Does suffering or sorrow weigh you down? Suffering affects all of us on one level or another, in one way or another. But the cross is different – the cross brings us face to face with Jesus’ suffering. He was alone. All his disciples had deserted him except for his mother and three women along with John, the beloved disciple. The apostles had fled in fear. But Mary, the mother of Jesus and three other women who loved him were present at the cross. They demonstrate the power of love for overcoming fear (1 John 4:18) in the face of horrific challenge.
Prayer: O God, who willed that, when your Son was lifted high on the Cross, his Mother should stand close by and share his suffering, grant that your Church, participating with the Virgin Mary in the Passion of Christ, may merit a share in his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer to Mary in Honor of Her Seven Sorrows: O Mary, Mother of Sorrows, I beseech Thee, by the bitter agony thou didst endure at the foot of the Cross offer to the Eternal Father, in my name, thy Beloved Son, Jesus, all covered with Blood and Wounds, in satisfaction for my sins, for the needs of Holy Church, the conversion of sinners, the relief of the Souls in Purgatory and for the special grace I now implore. (Mention your request at this point in the prayer). Amen.
Contemplation: This is a day to pray the Stations of the Cross. Don’t wait for the Season of Lent or for Holy Week; today is also a day to read and contemplate the words of the Stabat Mater – “At the cross her station keeping, stood the mournful Mother weeping, close to Jesus to the last.” The entire text can be found via the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops web page (www.usccb.org) by clicking on today’s date on the Daily Readings calendar. You might also want to read the seven sorrows of Mary in Sacred Scripture; the Biblical references are listed below.
About the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows: This feast is dedicated to the spiritual martyrdom of Mary, Mother of God, and her compassion with the sufferings of her Divine Son, Jesus. In her suffering as co-redeemer, she reminds us of the tremendous evil of sin and shows us the way of true repentance. May the numerous tears of the Mother of God be conducive to our salvation, with which tears Thou, O God, art able to wash away the sins of the whole world. As Mary stood at the foot of the Cross on which Jesus hung, the sword of sorrow Simeon had foretold pierced her soul. Below are the seven sorrows of Mary:
- The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35);
- The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15);
- Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50);
- Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17);
- Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30);
- The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37);
- The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47).