Tuesday, XXIV Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Our Lady of Sorrows, Pray for Us

Readings: 1st: 1 Cor 12:12-14.27-31; Ps: 100; Gos: Jn 19:25-27

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, the Tuesday of the twenty-fourth week of ordinary time, the Church celebrates the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Today’s feast recalls the seven scriptural references to Mary’s sorrows (Lk 2:34-35; Mt 2:13-14; Lk 2:46-48; Jn 19:17; Jn 19:25-27; Mt 27:57-58, and Jn 19:40-42). The devotion to the seven sorrows of associates Mary with her suffering Son. As the mother of the Saviour, Mary suffered a lot of pain.

A few months ago, the world witnessed one of the most horrible separations of children from their mothers in the history of the United States. This horrendous evil took place in the name of immigration policy.

The cries of the poor Latina mothers, mi Hijo (my son), mi Hija (my daughter), and those of the children separated by force, “mi Madre,” “Mamí” (my mother, my mother), fell on deaf ears.

It was like “a voice in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more” (Jer 31:15).

That day, those poor mothers shared Mary’s sorrows. As Mary watched her son suffer and die on the cross, they watched their babies taken away and locked in cages like animals.

So, as mothers would attest, the joy of seeing one’s child alive is priceless. On the other hand, it is a source of terrible pain for a mother to see her child suffer or be killed.

Mary knew the joy of being a mother. Also, she suffered the sorrow of seeing her son crucified like a criminal. Mary was there at the most important moments of Jesus’ life. So, she had to be under the cross too.

So, in today’s gospel, seeing the sorrow of his beloved mother, Christ handed her over to the beloved disciple: “Woman, behold, your son. Son behold, your mother.”

From this moment, Mary continued to live and pray with the apostles (Act 1:14). She witnessed the first Pentecost and the birth of the new Church. She has been with the Church during all her tribulations.

Indeed, the prophecy of Simeon that “a sword will pierce your heart (Lk 2:34-35) was fulfilled in Mary’s life.

Our Lady of Sorrows, Pray for Us!

Peace be with you all

Maranatha!

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