The Church abounds in celebration of many feasts.
>> All of them focuses our attention on the joyful and happy aspects of life.
But we know, that…
…. Life is not always a superhighway
>> Life is more a kuccha (temporary) road with many pits and rough areas!
The Church today celebrates one such feast of our Blessed Mother, which is a celebration for sure…
… but focuses our attention more on the darker realities of life – pain, suffering, tears and struggles: The Feast of the Mother of Compassion.
This feast is characterized by the commemoration of the Seven Sorrows of our Blessed Mother…
… seven major events, evoking compassion, in the life of “Mater Dolorosa” (Mother of Sorrows)
Let us journey with our Blessed Mamma through the Seven Mysteries of the Sorrows:
1. The First Sorrow: The Prophecy of Simeon
The time was festive and the mood was joyous when Jesus was being presented in the Temple.
>> It’s in this special time that Simeon comes forward to bless the Child Jesus.
But it comes with a catch: Mother Mary was to be pierced by a sword – a sword of sorrow!
>> The celebratory atmosphere suddenly turns a bit gloomy and overcast!
Many are the times when we enjoy joyful moments, when a sudden crisis hits our life.
>> The Compassionate Mother Mary becomes the Model for us : To be Patient and Trustful!
2. The Second Sorrow: The flight into Egypt
Mother Mary and Joseph took up the great duty in the safeguarding of their Little One, Jesus!
They listened to God’s voice…
…. to come together as the parents of God’s Child
… to share the difficulties during the Birth of the Child.
>> And now, they listen to God’s voice to flee to Egypt and save the Saviour of the World!
To listen to the voice of the Lord, was a remarkable aspect of the success of their life as a couple!
To listen to God’s voice through the Bible, through our authorities or through our life situations sometimes becomes difficult for us.
>> The Compassionate Mother Mary becomes a model for us: To be attentive and Obedient to God’s voice.
3. Third Sorrow: The Loss of Jesus in the Temple
The picture of the Holy Family had also some shadowy spots.
They were not free…
… from troubles
… from doubts
… from conflicting situations
The Holy Family was very much a human family.
But what made them Holy and a Model for families?
>> It was their willingness to let go of their personal mindsets and seek how God wanted them to live.
Often, we find our families or communities broken and unable to gel with each together.
>> The Compassionate Mother Mary, as the Mother of the Family, becomes a model for us: To adapt to God’s Will.
4. The Fourth Sorrow: Mary meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary
The sight of the Mother and Child meeting on the Via Dolorous was a picture of total sadness!
Tears filled both their eyes…
… the Divine Child and the Sorrowful Mother!
One with a Cross over the shoulders…
… the other a cross in Her heart!
>> Both their lips, however, sang the same chorus – Fiat, Thy Will be done Lord!
Life often puts us to situations of total hopelessness and darkness…
… the way ahead seems closed!
>> The Compassionate Mother Mary becomes a model for us: To remain faithful and loyal.
5. The Fifth Sorrow: Jesus dies on the Cross
>> At the Annunciation, when asked to give birth to a child, Mary had asked the Angel: “But how can this be since I am a virgin”.
>> At Calvary, when seeing the death of the child, perhaps, Mary was asking the Lord, “But how can this be since I am a mother”
They were questions which expressed human limitations and the demand to let everything be resigned into the hands of God!
We ourselves have had many such mini-experiences of Dying – of loved ones, of relationships, of great dreams..
>> The Compassionate Mother Mary, becomes a model for us: To accept our human boundaries and give ourselves into God’s hand.
6. The Sixth Sorrow: Mary receives the Dead Body of Jesus in Her arms
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me”, was the cry of the Lord from the Cross.
With Her Dead Child in Her arms, perhaps, the Mother of God would have also echoed the same question!
>> No answer given.
Yet, the tears that dropped from her lovely eyes, to the cheeks of her tender baby, carried the power of Hope and Trust and Faith!
We too sometimes encounter situations and times, when life crushes us
>> The Compassionate Mother Mary becomes a Model for us: To remain resigned to God’s Providence and be hopeful in faith!
7. The Seventh Sorrow: The Body of Jesus is placed in the Tomb
As the body of Jesus was placed inside the tomb, it seemed to be the end of the world for Mother Mary.
The life of the Old Testament Isaac was spared and Abraham had to joy of being reunited with his Son.
>> The life of the New Testament Isaac was however not spared!
Was it the end of her life too?
Circumstances often drags us to give up in life…and to abandon our call to be soldiers of God’s Kingdom!
>> The Compassionate Mother Mary becomes the model for us: To reply to life’s harsh challenges with an even bolder face of courage!
Let the Commemoration of this Feast of the Mother of Sorrows…
… spur us to live our Real Lives of Struggle and Hardships with Immense Faith, Hope and Love!
May Her Compassionate Love help us to imitate our Blessed Lord who was “meek and humble of heart”…
… and thus “be Merciful, like the Heavenly Father is merciful” (Lk 6:36)
Happy Feast of the Mother of Compassion!
God Bless! Live Jesus!