Homily for the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
Theme: THE BELIEVER’S BURDEN!
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
Homily for Wednesday September 15 2021
* Heb 5 : 7 – 9, Lk 2 : 33 – 35.
We cannot isolate Christ’s sufferings from his mother’s. Jesus, in the middle of his sufferings and grief did not forget to console his mother because he knew that she was having a lion share of the cake. He finally entrusted her care to John, his beloved apostle and cousin brother before he finally took a bow since she had no other son, Jn 19 : 27. The Church overtime has articulated the pains of Mary under 7 balusters: 1. The prophesy of Simeon which we read in today’s gospel. 2. The flight into Egypt as soon as Jesus was born. 3. The loss and search for Jesus during their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. 4. The encounter with Jesus on the way to Calvary. 5. The crucifixion. 6. The taking of the body of Jesus down from the Cross and 7. Jesus’ burial.
We cannot ignore the value of suffering and sorrow as necessary ingredients of Christian spirituality. Christ said that anyone who would come after him must deny himself, take up his cross and follow him, Lk 9 : 23. The prophesy of Isaiah about the Messiah was very clear about his designation as the suffering servant of God who was wounded for our transgressions, Is 53 : 5. Today’s 1st reading from the Letter to the Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus offered up his messianic prayers and supplications with loud tears and learnt obedience through what he suffered. The same fate awaits every believer in Christ. The gift of tears is not a strange Charismatic gift. Many great intercessors have received this gift. The Prophet Zechariah captured this gift when he said: ‘But over the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem I shall pour out a spirit of grace and prayer, and they will look to me. They will mourn for the one whom they have pierced as though for an only child’, Zech 12 : 10.
The believer’s burden is the burden of Christ; his sorrows are his /her sorrows. As Mary fellowshipped with Christ in his sorrows and sufferings, so does every believer identify with Christ’s burdens especially for the conversion of sinners. Traditional pious societies like the Sacred Heart of Jesus – Apostleship of Prayer, Legion of Mary and the Purgatorian Society are gradually losing their attractions just because modern day Christians have succeeded in isolating themselves completely from the burden of Christ. Our society is becoming more and more lawless due to bad leadership. Our proletariat class are becoming more helpless by the day as terrorist organizations and masquerades won’t allow them move freely on the streets. Even our Secondary School children are being disturbed from writing their WASC Exams and nobody speaks for them. Yet we know that all these are burdens for Christ and his mother. May God bless you today as you identify with Mary and the Saints in the sorrows and burdens of Christ!