Today the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.
For centuries the faithful have meditated on 7 of Our Lady’s principal sorrows, also known as her 7 Dolores. Countless people, myself included, who have faced great difficulties, have gained perspective and consolation, through meditation on Our Lady’s great hope and trust, in the face of tribulation.
Today’s Gospel introduces us to one of Mary’s great sorrows – learning that as Christ’s mother she would suffer in a unique and particular way. Those who suffer rejection, who are misunderstood, who lose children, who mourn, who become refugees, who are falsely accused, who experience anger and hatred, amongst many others, can find refuge in Mary’s sorrows.
Mary is our model in faith, because her belief in God’s goodness always was greater, than her sorrows.
This is what God wants from us above all – not to be the best and successful at anything, but a response of faith, to trust in Him. This is why the Church celebrates today’s feast day. We don’t rejoice because Mary suffered. We rejoice today rather because of Mary’s beautiful faith – her trust in God’s love and His goodness.
Yesterday, we saw that the cross is exalted because it reminds us of God’s unfathomable love, and likewise Mary’s sufferings are exalted, because they remind us of her great faith, and her great love for God.
Mary’s faith consoles us, and we gain assurance that our problems don’t have the last word. We rejoice because one of us continued to persevere in her faith, and to trust above all else in God’s goodness and His Love.
Last Monday, on the feast of Our Lady’s Birthday, Pope Francis spoke of 3 lessons we can learn from Mary’s life. He spoke about her great joy, her desire to help others, and her perseverance in faith.
Perhaps we can try and imitate Mary’s great faith in these three ways. Let us ask Our Blessed Mother to help us to be joyful Christians, to help others without hesitation, and to persevere in our faith. AMEN.