Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows – September 15
The Gospel readings from the Mass for the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows are Luke 2:33-35 and John 19:25-27.
After fulfilling their duty to circumcise and name Jesus after the Nativity, Joseph and Mary travel to the Temple in Jerusalem to ceremonially consecrate their first born son to the Lord (Exod 13:11-16). Simeon, a devout old man, offers a beautiful short hymn (Luke 2:29-32), the Nunc Dimittis (Latin, “now dismissed”) which confirms Christ’s Divinity and saving mission and offers joyful consolation to Mary and Joseph. But Simeon ends with a prophesy of the great division Christ will bring, as some accept and some reject Him, and reveals that Mary will suffer grave sorrow: “A sword will piece through your own soul.”
The pinnacle of Mary’s sorrows occurs at Mount Calvary where she is witness to her Son’s Crucifixion. Her sorrow exceeds the suffering of all women, for not only is she witness to the horrific torture of her only child, she alone grasps the truth that God’s own children are murdering God. Christ, offers His Blessed Mother the most beautiful consolation, giving her the Apostle John to be her adoptive son and earthly protector, but also gives her glorious purpose to be the Mother of the Church.
The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows began to gain prominence in the 12th century in various locations and Church-wide Feast in the 18th century. Today, the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows is celebrated the day after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Most Holy Cross. The Memorial also draws attention to a popular devotion called the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 1. The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:34–35); 2. The escape and Flight into Egypt (Matt 2:13); 3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem (Luke 2:43–45); 4. The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on the Via Dolorosa; 5. The Crucifixion of Jesus on Mount Calvary (John 19:25); 6. The Piercing of the Side of Jesus with a spear, and His Descent from the Cross. (Matt 27:57–59); 7. The Burial of Jesus by Joseph of Arimathea (John 19:40–42).
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ’s divinity is revealed to Simeon, a devout man who God prepared for years for Simeon’s exaltation. Son of Mary and Son of Joseph, Christ sends Simeon to give His parents consolation. Divine King, Christ gives His Blessed Mother to be the Mother of the Church.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Be astounded by how Christ causes and guides the life of His Mother to be a blessing to all humanity: causes the Immaculate Conception, sends Gabriel for the Annunciation, mysteriously enables His own virgin birth, consoles her from the Cross, draws her to Heaven in the Assumption.
2) Untainted by selfish sin because she is the Immaculate Conception, the Blessed Mother’s great sorrows are endured as a perfect sacrifice to God. Reflect upon Suffering (CCC 164, 272, 385, 618, 1264, 1500-1502, 1521) and pray for Christ help you imitate the Blessed Virgin Mother to endure your own personal suffering and to comfort others in their suffering.
3) In God’s infinite wisdom, He desires that all men have the blessing of a mother (and father!). Mothers, like all humans, are prone to sin and fail their children in various ways, sometimes causing deep wounds; and all mothers eventually die. In the Blessed Virgin, Christ has given the Church a perfect mother who never fails to love those who come to her. Realize your deep need to grow in Devotion to Mary (CCC 963-975) and pray for Christ to help you imitate His perfect love for His Holy Mother.