Today is Tuesday the 15 September, the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, in the Twenty Fourth Week of Ordinary Time.
Gillian Fisher and Michael Chance sing Stabat Mater Dolorosa by Pergolesi. ‘By the cross from which hung her son, his mother stood in sorrow and tears.’ As I listen, I can prepare myself to contemplate, today, Mary’s share in the suffering and the sacrifice of Jesus, a sacrifice made freely, and made out of love for the world.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.
And the father and mother of the child Jesus were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, "This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too."
For nearly 700 years, the prophecy of Simeon has been taken as the first of Mary’s seven sorrows. However, the emotion Mary initially shows is amazement; amazement at what is being said about Jesus. I might ask myself: Are there things about Jesus that still amaze me when I read or hear the gospel?
Simeon’s prediction recalls another New Testament passage that speaks of the word of God as something alive and active. Is that the sort of effect the gospel has on me? How does hearing this gospel, now, with its pronouncement about Jesus and his power to reveal what is true, affect how I feel? How hopeful do I feel, knowing Jesus can amaze me and help me move beyond my weaknesses and failings?
As the gospel is read again, let these words encourage you to name for yourself some of the things you would like Jesus to help you sort out.
Ask God now, in these few closing moments of today’s prayer, for the gift of knowing Jesus better, of feeling more deeply drawn to him and so coming to be more like him.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.