Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
No mother should have to experience what Mary did as she watched her Son die. Is the actuality worse than a mother can imagine? Think the pain of that mothers all over the world experience every day. Think of the military wives and mothers who go to Dover Air Force base to receive the flag draped remains of their husbands and sons. Think of the wives and mothers of those killed in drone attacks or air strikes who wonder why their husbands and sons do not come back.
But of course mothers do see their children die even in 2016. In the faces and eyes of mothers who watch their children slowly die, Mary’s sorrows continue.
Other gospel writers mention the presence of the women at Golgotha, but it is John who explicitly tells us that Mary and the beloved disciple stood by the cross. He reports Jesus’ words: “Woman, behold, your son” and to the disciple whom Jesus loved: “Behold, your mother.”
Mary, may I appreciate you as my mother. May I go to you with my doubts and fears. May I confidently trust in your loving care for me. Help me to have a compassionate heart as I see Jesus suffering in the crucified of today.
Be with me always and at the hour of my death. Amen.
Fr. Michael Hoolahan, C.P. is on the staff of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.