Reflection on the Daily Readings for 9/15/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture for Our Lady of Sorrows, Sept. 15, 2009. Hebrews 5:7-9. Psalm
31:2-3.3-4.5-6. John 19:25-27 or Luke 2:33-35.
“And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child
is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, and for a sign
that shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the
thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35). As we continue
reading the Gospels we come to see that this prediction of Simeon becomes
real in the life-experiences of the mother of Jesus. In our Church’s
tradition and devotion seven sorrows are enumerated for what this
courageous woman of faith experiences. She is never separated from her son
and what he is going through in his short life. In the Gospel of John the
text speaks of the last moments of Mary as she was “there” at the foot of
the Cross. This last of the signs of Jesus was celebrated yesterday as his
exultation on the Cross and his return to the Father, but today we focus on
the last moments of his death and learn of the great faith and trust of his
mother. Like any faithful mother she made every effort to be with her son
at this most memorable and painful moment. Just as she was there at a
joyous occasion of a wedding in Cana and this hour of Jesus was “foretold”
so now that the hour of Jesus has come, she is there standing beside the
beloved disciple. The first sign of Jesus led his disciples to believe in
him (John 2:11-12), now only the beloved disciple and four women are there
at his dying moments.
During these times of war almost in every part of the globe, mothers are
experiencing what Mary is going through. Her presence in the Scriptures at
this solemn moment does give strength to these women who are losing their
sons or hearing of their being wounded. Mary is more than a symbol for
them. She understands their sorrow and pain and she is there to help them.
Mary’s mission is to bring her son’s redeeming love to everyone whom she
meets and who meet her. A promise of eternal life is implied for those who
stand and wait with her at the foot of the Cross. The liturgical sequence
for this day has this as our prayer: “By the Cross with you to stay. There
with you to weep and pray. Is all I ask of you to give.” Amen.