September 15, 2020

Our Lady of Sorrows

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. (John 19:26-27)

I spent the last summer of seminary studies in a Clinical Pastoral Education program at a major children’s hospital in the Northeast. It was a challenging, growth-filled experience. Seeing kids so sick and encountering medical conditions that I’d never heard of robbing them of life, I understood a powerful truth: any parent would gladly take his or her child’s place if it meant he or she could get better and live. It’s an instinct that never goes away.

Standing by the cross of Jesus as he was dying was his mother Mary, his mother’s sister, and two disciples, Mary Magdalene and John. Gazing on the tortured body of her son, the sword of sorrow that Simeon had foretold tore into her heart.

As he was about to complete his saving work, Jesus entrusted his mother to the apostle John’s care. This is a tender reminder of the special relationship we have to the Lord’s mother, who is also the mother of all who are joined to Christ in baptism. Mary, the Woman of Sorrows, was there comforting him in the final moments of his life. Does she not do the same for us in times of anguish and need? Her compassion and intercession are directed today toward the suffering members of the mystical body of Christ.

Bearing one another’s burdens and sufferings is a holy thing, an act of empathy. Do I have empathy for others?

Let us pray:

Mother of God stand by us in our trials and care for us in our many needs. Pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Anthony Schueller, SSS

Father Anthony Schueller was the Provincial Superior of the Province of Saint Ann of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and the editor of Emmanuel.