Today’s Gospel: John 19, 25-27
The Gospel for the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is the passage in which Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Beloved Disciple, both stand at the foot of the Cross. Some Catholic artists have depicted Mary sobbing, prostrate on the ground but the women and the Beloved Disciple stood together at the foot of the Cross.
This is what the Gospel says: “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala”. I cannot fathom how she watched the horror of crucifixion unfold.
John paints a striking picture of the mother together with the Son, standing up. Mary is a strong woman whose heart is pierced with sorrow, but she stands as a silent presence to support her Son.
Mary’s silence at the foot of the Cross is active, not passive. She stands at the foot of the Cross as a strong, silent woman who is suffering over the loss of her son but remains obedient by embracing John as her son.
Mary is really opening her heart to embrace all disciples as her children. Only a strong woman can love once again in the midst of suffering. Then, in the Book of Acts, Mary does not indulge in grief but devotes herself to prayer with the disciples, waiting for the Holy Spirit.
How can suffering open my heart to the love of God?
Lord, show me how to open my heart to Your love, even in the midst of sorrow and suffering.