Our Lady of Sorrows

Today’s Gospel is one of my favorites; Simian meeting Mary and Joseph and their baby Jesus.  We know that Simeon was an elderly man and He had been waiting to see the Messiah as the Holy Spirit had promised him.

“He took (the Child) into his arms and blessed God saying, “Now, Master, let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation”.

Then he says what we read in today’s Gospel,

“Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and 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.”

I honestly don’t think that we men can appreciate what Simeon said, or what actually happened.  Mary was His mother.  We may see Christ as the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of God, but to Mary, He was her son; her baby; her little boy.  The pain that Mary must have had to endure is almost unimaginable.

There’s a great line in a song called, “My Son” by the Oak Ridge Boys.  “They took my son away from me and the angel said that I’d been blessed.” It may be the greatest irony of all times.  The angel said, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.”  But it was a blessing that would tear Mary’s world apart.

She would have to stand at the foot of the Cross and watch her Son die a horrible, painful death.  Mary was really Our Lady of Sorrows.   When my son Patrick was just twelve years old, he underwent brain surgery.  We were told the surgery would take two hours.  It actually took four.  We got no word from the operating room about what was going on for those extra hours.  But I can tell you they were the longest, most painful 120 minutes of my life.

I yelled at God.  I pleaded with God.  I bargained with God.  I have an idea of what Mary must have gone through.  But I’m not a mother.  As much as I love my kids, and I love them more than life itself, I can never have the feelings for them that their mother does.

We Catholics make a big deal out of Mary.  When Jesus died, he left her to be our mother.  We celebrate all the important events in her life.  We ask her to pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.  But when all is said and done, she was a mom.  Her Son may have been the Son of God, but He was still her little boy.

We call her full of grace.  We call her blessed.  The angel called her blessed. But as she watched her son suffer and die, how blessed do you think she really felt?

They took her son away from her.  She became our Lady of Sorrows.

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