Jn 19:25-27 (or Lk 2:33-35)
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw the Mother, and the disciple whom he loved, he said to the Mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “This is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.
Concerning the last three great events of sorrow in Mary’s life (Jesus’ death, his being taken down from the cross, and finally his burial), thousands of parents in the course of time have known similar sufferings when they witnessed, say, the execution of their child—justly or unjustly, it does not matter, the suffering is always horrendous. In the same vein, think of parents identifying at the morgue the bloody and barely recognizable body of their son or daughter, a victim of gang wars or of a car accident or of a serial killer or of racial hatred. Small wonder that so many parents can relate to this feast of our Lady of Sorrows. The experience of Mary resonates with theirs. Only grieving parents can understand grieving parents.
Let us notice, however, that this feast celebrates the sorrowful Mother of Jesus, not the depressed Mother of Jesus. At the foot of the cross, John tells us his gospel, Mary was “standing.” She was not prostrated, she was standing. In other words, although her sufferings were extreme, her faith gave her the courage to bear those sufferings without breaking down. In that, too, she is our model.
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