15 Sep 2015
Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
As much as there is “the joy of the gospel,” there’s also the sorrow that comes with the gospel. The gospel message is beautiful, for sure. And it’s a source of deep joy and happiness for us who love it and live it. The sorrow comes in, though, when we’ve taken the Word of God into our hearts, but we see that others haven’t.
It’s the sorrow of parents who just have to let their children make mistakes in life in order to get back on the right track. It’s the sorrow of Jesus who wept over ancient Jerusalem, soon to be destroyed for its lack of faith in God. It’s the sorrow our Blessed Mother, who opened her soul to the Word of God, but had to stand and watch that same Word be brutally rejected by others.
No doubt, St Mary knew deep joy in bringing up the child Jesus, and she knows unbelievable happiness now in heaven. But there was the time when her soul was ripped apart by sorrow because Jesus the Word—Jesus her Life—was ripped apart on the Cross.
Of course, the Word is still rejected today—not everywhere, happily; but in enough places in the world. And what else can we feel about that except sorrow? And it’s bittersweet to feel that sorrow. After all, the fact that we feel the sorrow is a sign that the Word has taken root in our souls—and that‘s something to be joyful about. But the sorrow itself is just that . . . sorrow.
Sorrow rooted in love of God. Sorrow rooted in others’ rejection of “the joy of the gospel.” That’s the sorrow we remember today. It’s the sorrow of the Blessed Mother. And it’s our sorrow, too.