Grace to you,
I wish to share with you an excerpt from my book Word for a Wounded World about the Blessed Virgin Mary and her participation in the cross of Christ. The Church’s tradition speaks of the seven sorrows of Mary and the following reflection points to them. I hope you find this excerpt helpful in your moments of pain and suffering.
“Mel Gibson’s record-breaking movie, The Passion of the Christ, depicts Mary as the Sorrowful Mother, who accompanied the Son through the tortuous and torturing moments of the Via Dolorosa (the way of the cross). She was present, not only on the short distance from the house of Herod, through the stony Jerusalem streets to Golgotha, but was part of the Cross of Salvation events from the very moment the Child Jesus was presented in the temple, before Simeon and Anna, to the prophesied events of Good Friday.
During the presentation in the temple, Simeon prophesied: “This child is destined to be the rise and fall of many . . . and a sword will pierce your soul” (Luke 2:34). During the flight into Egypt, the mother of God, accompanied by her most chaste spouse, Joseph, started to live the sorrows of rejection and persecution.
Through the hidden life of Jesus, she nourished, loved and saw how the Infant Jesus grew to manhood. Later, during the hectic loss of the Child Jesus, Mary witnessed the dark night of the potential loss of her child.
The meeting of Mary and her Son on the Via Dolorosa was like a dagger, piercing her maternal heart of love, but she kept going. Mary was present at the Crucifixion, where she, the Mother of God, stood--Stabat Mater. Only grace and the certainty of God’s love for His Son could have held her up, as she bore a suffering beyond all telling.
Jesus would say to John, as if giving His beloved Mother away, “Son behold your mother; mother, behold your son.” At the foot of the Cross, Mary said her second ‘yes,’ in a desolation we cannot even imagine. She witnessed the sword piercing the Most Sacred Heart of her son—the only Begotten Son of God!
Mary would courageously hold her dead Son in her arms, as her heart broke, but her spirit remained steadfast. Michelangelo’s Pieta is a masterpiece that depicts the sorrows of the Blessed Lady holding the pierced Innocent Lamb of God in her hands.
At the burial of Jesus, Mary, fortified with grace, was also present. Mary was the first to lead her Son closer to His ultimate mission, the journey to Calvary, as that was why He came—to nail our sins to His cross in order for us to be healed by His wounds (Is. 3:5).
My friends, all our wounds, small and big, are in His great wounds! Let us remember this. Give your wounds to Jesus—He wants them.” (Maurice Nkem Emelu, Word for a Wounded World, vol. I, pp. 201 -202).
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, September 15]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.