Reflections

OUR LADY OF SORROWS, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2020

MOTHER, BEHOLD, YOUR SON
Introduction
From the “Words of the Holy Father
And in this time, of perceived orphanhood, this word has great importance. Jesus tells us: I will not leave you orphaned, I give you a mother. This legacy is also our pride: we have a mother, who is with us, who protects us, accompanies us, helps us, even in difficult times, in bad moments. The Church is a mother. She is our ‘Holy Mother Church’ which engenders us in baptism, enables us to grow in her community: Mother Mary and Mother Church know how to caress their children, they give tenderness. And where there is motherhood there is life, there is joy, there is peace; one grows in peace. (Santa Marta, 15 September 2015)
 
Opening Prayer
Loving Father,
your Son Jesus Christ spoke a human language
and filled it with new meaning.
He put his fingers on people’s ears and lips
and they could hear and speak
words of life and goodness.
Continue in us the work of your Son.
Allow us to change with him
darkness into light, sadness into joy and death into life,
that with him we may also
enter your life and joy that last for ever. Amen!
 
1 Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31A
Brothers and sisters: As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many. Now you are Christ’s Body, and individually parts of it. Some people God has designated in the Church to be, first, Apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues. Are all Apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.
 
Responsorial Psalm 10:1B-2, 3, 4, 5
R. (3) We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
 
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song. R.
 
Know that the LORD is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. R.
 
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; Give thanks to him; bless his name. R.
 
For he is good, the LORD, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations. R.
 
Alleluia Luke 7:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia. A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 
Gospel John 19:25-27
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
 
Commentary
In the spiritual order the church is a living organism. St. Paul sees it as a body composed of many parts, with Christ as the head. In addition we have been given certain functions to perform, no two of which are the same, yet all contribute to the well-being of the whole. There is no reason for jealousy, since we all benefit from each of the functions. The greater gift for which we should strive is developed in the next chapter of the letter: the gift of love. No gift surpasses that, and it is capable of being shared by all of us.
Regarding the memorial today, coming on the heels of yesterday’s feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross (of Jesus) we can say that the close link between the mission of Jesus and His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, informed the commemoration today of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady. The title, Our Lady of Sorrows, given to our Blessed Mother focuses on her intense suffering and grief during the life, passion and death of our Lord. Traditionally, this suffering was not limited to the passion and death event; rather, it comprised the seven sorrows of Mary, which were foretold by Simeon who proclaimed to Mary, This child [Jesus] is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many in Israel, a sign that will be opposed and you yourself shall be pierced by a sword so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare (Luke 2:34-35). These seven sorrows of our Blessed Mother included the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt; the loss and finding of the child Jesus in the Temple; Mary’s meeting of Jesus on His way to Calvary; Mary’s standing at the foot of the cross when our Lord was crucified; her holding of Jesus when He was taken down from the cross; and then our Lord’s burial.
 
Intercessions
– God of mercy and compassion, keep your Church forgiving and patient with its members who err or rebel, we pray:
– God of the sad and the sorrowing, fill us with Christian empathy for those who suffer and make us bold enough to tell them: “Do not weep. The Lord loves you,” we pray:
– God of those who are sick in any way, bring your healing power to them through people who visit them and cheer them up, we pray:
 
Prayer over the Gifts
God, your gifts to us of bread and wine
enable us to live and to enjoy life.
We bring them before you to fill them
with the higher life and the deeper joy
of your Son Jesus Christ.
Let them be a life and a joy
which, even in the uncertainties
and the trials of life,
can never be taken away from us.
Let him lead us to your everlasting life and joy.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen!
 
Prayer after Communion
Faithful God,
you promise us life and joy
if we have the courage
to listen to Jesus’ words
and put them into practice like Mary.
Let your Son fill us here
with a love that is stronger than death,
that we may speak words that uplift
and that we can break for one another
bread that gives life.
Grant us this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen!
 
Blessing
Father in heaven, by the side of your Son’s passion and cross was our Mother Mary, who shared in all his sorrows. May we follow in her footsteps to listen to Christ and be his true disciples. May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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