On Thursday (September 14), we celebrated the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross--the Triumph of the Cross. The Church invited us to reflect on the meaning of the Holy Cross--the symbol of our salvation, of Divine love and compassion. Jesus Christ the perfect sacrifice as the Lamb of God died on this cross to reconcile us with the Father.
Today on the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, our hearts unite with that of Mary as she stood at the foot of the cross faithfully. We are challenged to view the cross from a different perspective, that of Mary the Mother of Sorrows as she grieves and mourns the death of her son. Mary’s sorrows can be metaphors for the hardships we experience in our own life. By uniting ourselves with Mary we find courage, strength, and wisdom to faithfully live out our life with trust in the God who is always with us. These painful experiences of Mary, if we allow them, can help us find meaning and inspiration.
In these sorrows, we see how Mary questioned what was confusing and unclear, how she reflected on her life experience in order to find meaning in them. In Mary, we see a great amount of resiliency, how she was sustained by her faith, and how her deep love for her son gave her the strength and courage to enter into and endure her suffering. Today, as we walk with Mary in her sorrows we discover that we are never alone in what seems most difficult in our life. In Mary, we have a faithful mother, a mentor, a sister, a model. We are called to celebrate and remember the sorrows that shaped her life and we celebrate her unquestionable gift of compassion and trust. Mary went through bitter suffering as she stood beneath the cross, but she did so with determination and fortitude. She stood as a warrior determined to be there for her son. When love is the motivation, one can wait at the foot of the cross for a very long time. Mary shows us how to do that with inner strength.
May Mary the Mother of Sorrows, who followed Jesus faithfully to the end at Calvary and shared with her whole being in his passion and death be our companion on our journey. At the foot of the cross, Mary was the Church, she was us. May she intercede for us especially at the hour of our death.
Sister Fatima Aphiri, OLS works with young women who are discerning and searching to discover God’s plan in their lives. She serves as Vocations Director for the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows (ols.org) and is currently working on a Masters in Education Leadership. Originally from Zimbabwe, she makes delicious African chicken dishes, enjoys New Orleans Saints football, fishing, and dark beer. To contact Sister Fatima email firstname.lastname@example.org.