Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene. (Jn 19:25)
Yesterday, we celebrated the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. On that day, we remembered that Jesus — by dying on the cross and rising from the dead — transformed the symbol of hatred and death into a symbol of love and life.
We reminded ourselves that we need to allow Jesus to transform us so that we may be His witnesses to our world.
Today, the day after the Exaltation of the Cross, we remember those who stood at the foot of Jesus’ cross: the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
That day could hardly be described as victorious. That day could hardly be described as joyful.
That day was a day of visceral pain.
Seeing her Son hanging on the cross, suffering so terribly, and dying, Mary’s heart was broken. She was powerless to do anything for her Son. All that she could do was to be present.
Today is the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.
When grief is overwhelming and we do not know what to say and/or we are powerless to do anything, sometimes our presence, alone, must suffice. While not providing us with a whole lot of solace, it might help the one who is suffering.
Mary, our Lady of Sorrows, help us to stand at the foot of the cross of your Son so that we, too, may witness His saving love and also be there to lend Him our support.
FAITH ACTION: In quiet prayer today, reflect upon the words of the Stabat Mater.
At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had passed.
Oh, how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother highly blessed
Of the sole begotten One!
Christ above in torment hangs,
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying, glorious Son.
Is there one who would not weep,
‘Whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that mother’s pain untold?
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.
For the sins of his own nation
Saw him hang in desolation
Till his spirit forth he sent.
O sweet Mother! font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.
Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.
Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.
Let me share with you his pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.
Let me mingle tears with you,
Mourning him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live.
By the cross with you to stay,
There with you to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of you to give.
Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine.
Let me to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of yours.