Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Woman, Behold Your Son

September 15, 2011

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

Let no one have contempt for your youth,
but set an example for those who believe,
in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.
Until I arrive, attend to the reading, exhortation, and teaching.
Do not neglect the gift you have,
which was conferred on you through the prophetic word
with the imposition of hands by the presbyterate.
1 Timothy 4:12-14

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.
John 19:26-27


“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. Luke 1:46-49


Recently a got a pair of new shoes. These are not just any shoes. These are bicycling shoes. The soles have cleats on them so they clip into the pedals and make it more efficient for you to power your bike on all kinds of roads and trails. But they also take some concentration to unclip your shoes before you come to a stop otherwise you will just fall over on your bike…or should I say on your side. Because if you do not unclip these cleats, you will remain attached to the bike…Riding clipped in this way you feel every bump and rock on the road. You really are one with the bike.

Enough about m shoes…what does this, you may ask, have to do with the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, the patron of my home parish? Well, think about what she was looking at in today's Good News from St. John. Her son and our Savior was clipped in quite securely to his cross. In fact it is near impossible to think of Christianity without the image of the cross. Jesus' entire journey from Bethlehem to Egypt to Nazareth and throughout Judea and Galilee and finally up Calvary was the journey to the unification with the cross of our sins.

In one sense, Jesus' acceptance of the cross was also his freedom from the burden of carrying that cross and our sins on his whipped back.

Nailed to this tree, Jesus looked down and joined his disciples to his mother…an everlasting connection that we can not unclip.

Without our faith clipped onto the cross that Mary contemplated, we would still be burdened by our sins. Without our connection to Mary and her Sorrows, we would not have an advocate in heaven to intercede and bring our prayers to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.


We will always remember Mary and her Sorrows as we gaze upon all the famous images and icons of our faith -- but it is not just artwork and symbol. We must connect these to our lives.

Mary must take our daily news and add it to her heavy hearts. Nearly 50 million people are living here below the poverty line. Texas and Georgia have a wave of executions scheduled -- just like the Romans did two thousand years ago. Diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, ALS, muscular dystrophy and more plaque our families, friends and neighbors. Our young men in the military are engaged in two (or three?) wars -- Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Natural disaster like hurricanes, floods and earthquakes take their toll on our lives. Record and persistent unemployment show no signs of easing any time soon. The list goes on and on.

How are the sorrows that pierced Mary's heart at work in your life?

Pray for us, Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.