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Thursday, September 15, 2011

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Our Lady of Sorrows

Hebrews 5:7-9
Psalm 31:2-6, 15-16, 20
John 19:25-27
or Luke 2:33-35

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the seventy times seven sorrows of mary

"With sorrow my eye is consumed; my soul also, and my body. For my life is spent with grief." —Psalm 31:10-11

Jesus wants to teach us "how to share in His sufferings by being formed into the pattern of His death" (Phil 3:10). He presents us Mary as the perfect example of redemptive suffering. Mary suffered in innocence, in freedom, and in love. Mary did not suffer because of her sins, but because of her love for Jesus. She suffered not because of disobeying her Son, but because of obeying Him. "See to it that none of you suffers for being a murderer, a thief, a malefactor, or a destroyer of another's rights. If anyone suffers for being a Christian, however, he ought not to be ashamed. He should rather glorify God" (1 Pt 4:15-16).

Mary suffered innocently. Mary was not a victim of circumstances. Simeon had told her she would be pierced with a sword of suffering (Lk 2:35). She knew she would suffer greatly. Nevertheless, she freely decided to be near the cross of Jesus and to suffer with Him.

Mary suffered in love. Like her Son, she did not hate His executioners. She even forgave the apostles after they abandoned Jesus and left Him to die (Mk 14:50). She also prayed with them to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14).

Let your mother, Mary, show you how to suffer with Christ, her Son.

Prayer:  Father, may I be crucified to the world and the world to me (Gal 6:14).

Promise:  "Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered; and when perfected, He became the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him." —Heb 5:8-9

Praise:  "At the cross her station keeping, stood the mournful mother weeping."

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011

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