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SEPTEMBER 15. Our Lady of Sorrows. Jn 19. 25-27

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.

A very important truth Christ taught his followers is the need for suffering and sacrifice, in order to make reparation for the sins of mankind; - but like all good leaders, he walked ahead of his followers; - by embracing his own sufferings, in order to teach and to lead by example.

Nobody has been asked to endure more sufferings than Christ himself, firstly in his physical sufferings; - but also in the sufferings he endured when his love and kindness were rejected; - including a number of times by his closest followers; - those he considered his close friends.

There are no exceptions to the need to make reparation for the sins of mankind by embracing suffering, and if we see this illustrated anywhere it is when we look at the suffering of Jesus’ own mother; - the Blessed Virgin Mary, in whose womb he was conceived.

If there was anyone to whom an exemption from suffering would have been both deserved and understood it would be Our Blessed Lady; - the Immaculate Conception; - but this was not to be; - which demonstrates the extent of the seriousness of sin in the eyes of the Trinity.

Anyone who professes to love God, needs to have in their hearts a deep love of God, and with this must go a strong loving desire to imitate Christ; - our teacher and redeemer; - by making reparation for sin as he did; - by embracing our personal crosses.

This was why Mary embraced her own sufferings; - which were numerous and painful; - as if her Son was to make atonement for sin through suffering, she would do the same; - and this thinking was in accord with that of her creator, who did not spare her from her own cross.

Christ was well aware of how his mother would have suffered as she watched his passion and death, so his last act prior to his death on the Cross was to ensure she was cared for after his death and burial; - a task he entrusted to his “beloved disciple” John.

But at the same time he did this, he also entrusted Mary with a new role; - to be a mother to those who believed; - a role the Church teaches she has been given that will continue until the end of time; - and in doing this he has given an enormous gift to all the faithful.

The Mother of Jesus Christ; - the Mother of God; - The Mother of the Church; - has been asked by her Son to be a mother to all Christian believers; - a role we know she willingly embraced; - just as she embraced the role of Mother of God at the Annunciation.

This is a gift all Christians should be eternally grateful for; - to have Mary the Mother of God; - the Immaculate Conception; - as our own mother who is able to intercede for us with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; - and who is familiar with the need for each of us to endure our own sufferings; - as she and her son did; - in atonement for our sins, and the sins of the world!

Holy Mary; Mother of God; - Pray for us sinners now; -and at the hour of our death, Amen!

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia!

Happy are you, O blessed Virgin Mary:

without dying, you won the martyr’s crown

beside the cross of the Lord.


First reading 1 Timothy 3:14-16 ·

The mystery of our religion is very deep

At the moment of writing to you, I am hoping that I may be with you soon; but in case I should be delayed, I wanted you to know how people ought to behave in God’s family – that is, in the Church of the living God, which upholds the truth and keeps it safe. Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is very deep indeed:

He was made visible in the flesh,

attested by the Spirit,

seen by angels,

proclaimed to the pagans,

believed in by the world,

taken up in glory.

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