FR. JUSTIN’S HOMILY FOR THE MEMORIAL OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS
THEME: THE SORROWS OF MARY
BY: Fr. Justin Nzekwe
HOMILY FOR THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15 2022
Behind every successful story are also stories of pains and failures. Most times when we see successful people we focus on their success, while neglecting the sufferings they went through before they became successful. Without the cross there will not be a crown, and even the Rose flower with all its beauty has thorns. Mary’s life on earth captures both the sorrowful and the joyful story.
Today we remember the sorrows of Mary. Just as the birth of Jesus was the highest blessing that Mary ever received, it is also the greatest source of Mary’s sorrows while on earth. There are seven major sorrows of Mary: Firstly, she experienced sorrow during the presentation of Jesus in the temple, when Simon gave a prophecy that a thorn will pierce her soul. Secondly, she had to run to Egypt with Joseph in order to protect the child Jesus from Herod. And you can imagine how nervous she was during the journey. Thirdly, she was worried as she searched for Jesus for three days after the feast in Jerusalem. She knew many people were not happy with the birth of Jesus, and she must have been worried if something bad might have happened to his son. Fourthly, Mary watched with sorrow as her son Jesus carried the heavy cross to Calvary with a crown of thorn on his bleeding head. She saw all the wounds meted on her only son, she witnessed Jesus’ disciples as they abandoned him, and she was probably there when the Jews were shouting that Pilate should crucify Jesus. Fifthly, she was present at the foot of the cross during the Crucifixion of her son, she watched the nailing of her son, the blood that were gushing out and the cries of pain from her son. Sixth, she watched the dead body of her son taken down from the Cross. And in pains, her son dead was placed in her hands and she pressed him to her blossom. And lastly, she watched the body of her only son being laid in the Tomb. Mary’s life was a life full of sorrows, but today we only emphasize the joyful part of her life.
However, what matters most is not just the sorrows of Mary, but also her attitude towards those sorrowful moments. In the midst of her sorrows, she was still open to the will of God. She kept contemplating in her heart everything that happened in her life. The God who preserved Mary from birth because of the role she was going to play as the Mother of God, could also preserve Mary from suffering, but he didn’t. Any time you pray to be favoured like Mary, do not also forget about the sorrows of Mary. God’s favours come with its own responsibility. We have to be courageous to prove that we deserve those favours, by standing strong in the face of temptations and sufferings. Jesus while on cross seeing the pain in her mother’s eyes said, “Woman, here is your son!” Then he said to the disciple: “Behold your mother!” And from that hour the disciple welcomed her with him.” Jesus offered his Mother of sorrow to us to be a source of consolation to us in the midst of our own sorrows. And each time we go through sorrowful moments, we can be sure that Mary understands our sorrows and is ready to intercede for us. We therefore pray in this holy mass through the intercession of Blessed Virgin Mary that God will heal our sorrows and sufferings and grant us joy both in this life and in his kingdom in heaven, Amen.