- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

Homily for September 13, 2021 – Our Lady of Sorrows

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO

Our Lady of Sorrows

For someone who has no regard for the Blessed Virgin Mary the phrase “standing by the cross” is nothing more than an aside, Oh! by the way, His mother was there, too. For all those devoted to her, our Blessed Mother, Mother of the Body of Christ – these words “standing by the cross ”speak clearly, loudly of her life, her role in the story of our salvation. She is the only one who was with Him in the very beginning and to the very horrendous end.
Mary is not only the Mother of the Lord; she is also the most faithful disciple. As she stood there with the Beloved Disciple and some women, what was going through her mind as she looked upon her Son – His body so terribly abused, hardly recognizable? She knew Him as no one else; she had seen and experienced His love, His goodness, His uniqueness. She had witnessed His miraculous powers, heard His words. What she saw now looking upon her crucified Son did not diminish in any way His love, it could not, no matter what.

If we could ask her, “Mary, what were you thinking?” – she might say, “I was remembering the words of the angel that he would be great, the prediction of Simeon about His being destined for the fall and rising of many, of a piercing sword – I was trying to put together ‘greatness and suffering.”

She might also tell us, “In the midst of His suffering and my own anguish, I knew I was receiving His love to the last. I heard His concern when He commended me to the one whom He loved. Even this most terrible torture could not affect His love. I knew Him, I knew His heart.”

On this feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, by God’s grace we can say, “Yes, we know Him too – not as well as you, Blessed Mary” – so that whatever we experience in life, whatever suffering comes our way, we can always find support, refuge, strength in the Savior’s love which is “stronger than death”. To do so, to live so is truly a Marian stance, a Marian virtue.

It should not be otherwise as people dedicated to her and through her, to her Divine Son.