Reflection- Our Lady of Sorrows (Memorial)
This was the reflection I gave during the St. Pius X Word and Communion service: Peace- Matt
Pain and sorrow are things we deal with as humans. I remember the bittersweet moment of watching my brother take his last breath after battling stage 4 Melanoma. It was incredibly painful because I love my brother. Like me, he's a musician, although, of the singer-songwriter folkie bluesy rock type, he enjoyed a good beer and would laugh at the most inappropriate and silly things.
But after seeing how music left him due to the edema developed in his left arm (crucial for a guitarist). I couldn't help but feel a sense of joy that he was now free to strum along with my Uncle Don, accompanied by my grandma Kate at the piano in heaven. What a jam session that must be!
I think those of us who have lost someone we love understand what our lady of sorrows experienced in this passage from today's gospels. In luke's account, we hear Mary receive a prophecy from Simeon. She then knows Jesus would die to save Israel. Mary knows he must perish for all of humanity. She also believes in the resurrection and has to trust God as she always has. But that pain of sorrow is universal for humans. Jesus gives Mary to the Apostle John. Jesus does this both out of the cultural necessity of survival (Mary's husband was dead, and her son was the only one to provide for her being the culture in Israel), and the method we as disciples are to treat the grieving.
This binding element of sorrow brings us unique opportunities for Joy. For Mary, the mother of Jesus, known by an encyclopedia of names, she embraced her cross and allowed Jesus to fulfill God's call. We see the sorrow of loss as members of one body, Christ's body, that pain is felt as a community, especially a community connected as St. Pius X.
For instance, our office manager, Julie Taddy, is awaiting her mother's release into heaven's glory. The number of people who ask about her well being, who are praying for Mrs. Burrill as she comes to the end of life on earth, and now, as we share this news to our entire community, there is a feeling of unity. Likewise, there are many among our St. Pius X Family who are ill, homebound, even in hospice, who, when we pause to pray for them, there's a palpable connection between all of us. That's what being part of this Chrisitan family is all about.
We may not be emotional about all of it for each person we petition in the prayers of the faithful. Still, we accept the sorrow and walk that road of transition with our brothers and sisters experiencing painful emotions surrounding these human experiences. We are His people: the sheep of his flock (ps. 100). On this memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, let us attune to our flock and others' pain around us to embrace it as our own. Just as St. John did with Mary at the request of Jesus.