Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, which traditionally calls us to reflect on Mary’s “seven sorrows.”
In the 15th century, this feast had another name, Our Lady of Compassion. I believe that this title more appropriately places Mary in a relational and dynamic reality in the Church. Today’s gospel reading finds us with Mary and John at the foot of the cross. From the cross, Jesus, in his compassion, gives Mary a son and John, a mother. Lost in pain and grief, they are united by the compassion of Jesus.
Devotion to Mary is a tradition that runs deep in the Catholic soul. Perhaps it is because she is a “mother,” which most people experience as caring, compassionate, and nurturing. The great devotion, for instance, to Our Lady of Guadalupe, where Mary appeared to a peasant in the clothes of and features of an Aztec woman, captured the hearts of a suffering and poor population who found compassion, love, and acceptance in this “mother.” The same is true in many Marian appearances and depictions of Mary. She always appears as a compassionate mother.
So how do we celebrate this day? Do we focus on the seven sorrows of Mary’s life, or do we follow her urge to compassionate care of her children?
Perhaps we could turn our eyes and our hearts, in this moment of history, to the people of Haiti who have suffered so much for so long and who continue to suffer from both political and natural disasters. They are the children of the compassionate Mother Mary. They cry out to us, and Mary cries out to us to be compassionate to her children.
Let Us Pray:
Jesus, you gave us your mother as our mother. She continually watches over us, her children, with compassion and love. We thank you for this wonderful gift. Amen.
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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