Fittingly, after celebrating the Exaltation of the Holy Cross of Jesus yesterday, we celebrate Mary under her title of Our Lady of Sorrows today. The title “Our Lady of Sorrows,” honors the anxieties and trials that Mary the mother of the “Suffering Servant” (Isaiah 52:13-53:12) faced.
Today’s memorial calls to mind the seven scriptural “Sorrows” Mary endured during Jesus’ earthly life:
The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:33–35)
The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13–15)
Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41–50)
Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25–30)
These sorrows highlight the union of heart and mind between Jesus and Mary. It’s important to understand that a “sorrowful” heart is not the same as a “sad” heart. Theologically speaking, sadness results from a form of self-pity, or an unhealthy attachment to something that was lost. Sorrow, on the other hand, is one of the Beatitudes, and therefore one of the holiest qualities we can possess. “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
It is this union with the heart of Jesus that we should pray for and reflect on today. When we are sorrowful for those things that separate us from the heart of Jesus, we can be comforted in knowing that Jesus never abandons us. Rather He calls us back to union with Him. On the cross, Jesus entrusted Mary to be the mother of His beloved disciple John. John represents all of humanity. John represents you and me. In our times of anxiety and trial, we can approach Mary, asking for her intercession to Jesus on our behalf, to keep our hearts united with Jesus. We can look to Mary and Jesus for comfort, knowing that they have endured far worse for the sake of uniting our hearts with the Son of God.
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection
Do you know the love that enables you to bear your cross and to endure trials and difficulties with faith and hope in God?