24th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
1 Timothy 3: 1-13;
John 19: 25-27
Yesterday we celebrated the Exaltation of the Cross. Today we celebrate the feast of the Woman who stood beneath the Cross. We acknowledge her as the Mother of Life who won the martyr’s crown as she stood beneath the Cross of her Son. Saint John presents the scene of Christ providing for His mother. In this action, we see how God sometimes removes one comfort from us, only to provide another. Watching her Son die a most hideous death, she finds herself the mother of many sons and daughters who have been adopted by means of that death. Through His sacred passion, Christ made an end of sin and death. Hanging on the Tree of Life, Jesus makes Mary the Mother of the New Creation. In the person of John, all Christ’s beloved disciples are to show Mary filial affection, honor and respect. As she embraced the beloved disciple, Mary initiated her new mission as universal Mother, establishing a special relationship between her and all the members of the Body of Christ.
As she stood near her Son during His hours of agony and pain, so too, does she stand by all the members of the body of Christ when they are in need. As universal Mother, Mary stands before us as the first fruits of Christ’s promise not to leave us orphans. Overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, Mary could serve as the glue holding together the family of Faith. Nurtured by this Woman of Faith we will develop a sincere love for her Son. Under her watchful eye, love will become the guiding principle of our lives. Whenever we stray from the path, she will draw us closer to herself at the foot of the Cross. May each one of us, precisely through the concrete reality of Mary’s universal motherhood, fully acknowledge her as our own Mother, and trustingly commend ourselves to her maternal love.
Saint John Paul II
Let me stand and mourn with you, O Mother. Permit me to mingle my tears with yours. Allow me to share your grief. Let me learn to feel as you do. Help me understand the depth of His love for me, a sinner. Foster in me the urgency to reach out to those in anguish. Remove the complacency in me so that I become sensitive to the needs of others. Let me hear these words everyday: “Woman, behold your son.” For he died for me. And you stood by Him. Even as your tears fell.