Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

“By the cross with you to stay, there with you to weep and pray, is all I ask of you to give.”

One of the most mysterious prophecies in the Gospels is today proclaimed. The prophet Simeon turns to Mary who has brought her newborn Jesus to present Him in the Temple, and says, “This child is destined…to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Lk 2:35) One explanation of this prophecy, which comes from a medieval English saint by the name of Bede, says that Jesus was a sign that was contradicted in His Passion when He was rejected and put to death. In that moment, too, was Mary’s heart run through by the anguish of seeing her most beloved Son so executed.

In the Passion, explains Bede, the thoughts of many hearts are revealed: those who saw Jesus as a blasphemer reveal their thoughts in reviling Him; those who saw Jesus as a political savior reveal their thoughts by abandoning Him; but Mary is different. By remaining with her Son until the end, the thoughts of Mary’s heart which so constantly was filled with contemplating the Word of God are revealed. She saw Jesus as her Son, and as the Son of the Most High, and in her fidelity to Him until His death, Mary showed the depth of her faith.

Let us today take a moment to pray with Mary beside the Cross, asking that our eyes may see Jesus as she did, even if it means that the Cross breaks our heart as it did hers.

September 15th, 2015