SEPTEMBER 15, 2009 MEMORIAL,
OUR LADY OF SORROWS
1 TIMOTHY 3:1-13
Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled,
respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family,
how can he take care of God's church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.
Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.
They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them,
let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives are to be
women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and
trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be the husband of but one
wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who
have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in
their faith in Christ Jesus.
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 there whom he loved 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 into his home.
Today's feast focuses on the way Mary shared in the suffering of Jesus her Son. Our Lady of Sorrows is one of her many titles. She is also the Queen of Martyrs because she suffered a new kind of martyrdom. As a mother, Mary witnessed her innocent Son, the one whom she loves with her whole being cruelly tormented and put to death. According to St. Alphonsus, this was the 5th sword that pierced her heart. When Mary presented the infant Christ in the temple, Simeon prophesied that a "sword will pierce her heart." Pope John Paul II commented in
Redemptoris Mater that this was the 2nd Annunciation. "She will have to live her obedience of faith in suffering at the side of the suffering Savior and that her motherhood will be mysterious and sorrowful." "Every torture inflicted on the body of Jesus", says St. Jerome "was a wound in the heart of Mary". Under the cross Mary was offering the life of her Son to the Father for our salvation. She was cooperating with Christ for our redemption. By her sorrow she was leading us to eternal salvation.