Gospel reading for September 15, 2014, Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows: But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, 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 to his own home. -John 19:25-27
Meditation by Heather Anderson Renshaw
Five years ago, my husband and I prayed the Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows for the first time. We began on The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Sept. 8th) and culminated on the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, which the Church celebrates today. In typical “us” fashion, we began the Novena a day late and scrambled to catch up. We agreed that it was a good thing God operates in kairos, and not chronos time.
Anyway, this powerful series of prayers invited us to ponder the seven sorrows throughout Mary’s life as Theotokos – the God-bearerer. It was a truly beautiful experience to find a deeper kinship with she whom I had often thought almost too perfect to even approach. I mean, Mary was born without sin, after all, and I was (and am) a wretched sinner! I couldn’t even make it out of the parish parking lot after Mass some Sundays without getting perturbed by
some lousy drivera fellow parishioner! We – Mary and I – weren’t exactly running in the same circles. Or were we?
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells John, his beloved disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And, further, John took Mary into his own home once Jesus died.
I have heard this passage several times, yet while praying the Novena, I heard something else – something interesting. I was reminded that, like John, I am beloved of Christ. And, like John and St. Joseph before him, I shouldn’t be afraid to invite Mary into my home, and my prayer life, as my Mother. Nothing gives Mary greater joy than when we obey her Son! It was a most beautiful epiphany. I felt compelled to intentionally invite Mary to watch over me as a wife and mother, and to cover me and my family in her loving mantle of grace and peace. I was no longer afraid to call her, “Mama.”
Just like all of us, Mary experienced profoundly difficult challenges throughout her life. Consider what it must have been like for her to watch helplessly as Jesus suffered and died right before her eyes!
God never told Mary her life would be easy, but He was with her in her sufferings, as He is with all of us when we struggle and stumble. I am so very grateful for A Heavenly Father thoughtful enough to send us a Mother to comfort and intercede for us in times of trial, because – as everybody knows – sometimes, you just need your Mama.
Take some time today to consider your relationship with Our Blessed Mother. When was the last time you gave her a call? She would be so very glad to hear from you!