Homily for the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
Theme: Your own soul a sword shall pierce.
By: Fr. Francis Onwunali
Homily for Wednesday September 15 2021
“Simeon said to Mary: This child is destined to be a sign which men will reject; He is set for the fall and the rising of many in Israel; and your own soul a sword shall pierce.”
Today, we celebrate the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows which dates back to the 12th century. It was introduced and promoted by the Servites and Cistercians in order to intensify devotion to Seven Sorrows of Our Lady. This devotion has its roots in Sacred Scripture and in Christian piety, which always associates the Blessed Mother with her suffering Son. In 1817, Pius VII – suffering grievously in exile but finally liberated by Mary’s intercession – extended the celebration to the universal Church.
For St. Paul in the first reading (1 Tm 3: 14-16), as members of the household of God, the Church, who have God as the pillar and foundation of truth, we should be mindful of our behaviour, so that in our relationship with God, we might be judged righteous, vindicated as Christ Jesus in the Spirit.
In the gospel (John 19: 25-27), Mary, together with other women and John, the beloved disciple, stood at foot of the cross in sorrow observing her Son die in agony. Jesus, before His death entrusts the care of His mother to His disciple, and the care of His disciple to His mother.
Dear friends, part of our salvific journey is that we continue to care for each other as different parts in the household of God, the Church. Mary in her intercessory role is still active in the Body of her Son, Christ, the Church, just as she was active in caring and loving her Son from the moment of Incarnation to His passion and glory.
I pray as we journey in life today, we will not ignore the intercessory role of our Mother Mary in our lives as children bound up in the One Body of Christ, the Church. May she who experienced sorrow, intercede for us at our moment of sorrow and our tears be turned into joy.
Have a joy-full day!
Fr. Francis Onwunali