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To Be Compassionate like Mary

Today is Our Lady of Sorrows feast day. According to Tradition, Mary suffered seven sorrows in her life: 1) the prophecy of Simeon, 2) the flight into Egypt, 3) the loss of the child Jesus in the Temple, 4) the encounter with Jesus carrying the Cross, 5) the standing at the foot of the Cross and the crucifixion, 6) the reception of the body of Jesus in her arms, and 7) the burial of Jesus.

The word “compassion” comes from Latin, and it means “to suffer together with.” When we reflect about the role of Mary in our History of Salvation, we know that Mary suffers for Jesus, and she also suffers with Jesus because the passion of Christ is a full participation of all the sufferings of human beings. As a son who has seen his mother suffering from the loss of one of her children, I can understand why theologians have affirmed that the passion of Christ deeply wounded Mary’s immaculate heart. As a mother, Mary loved Jesus more than herself. She not only bore the pain of her son but also united with him in accepting the will of God, to give new life to all, including you and me. This reveals how profound her compassion is for her son Jesus and for each one of us her children. Her compassion (to suffer with) is filled with faith, love, and hope in God.

My dear sisters and brothers, as Christians, we are called to share in the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Last Sunday’s Gospel passage, Jesus said to us, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Today, Jesus says to Mary, “Woman, behold, your son;” and to us, “Behold, your mother.” Therefore, we are not alone. Let us draw strength and courage from our mother, to embrace our cross with hope and to witness our true love of God and our neighbors in bringing God’s kingdom of love, peace, joy, justice, and solidarity amidst hatred, conflicts, violence, depression, sadness, injustice, and self-centeredness.

Every time we pray the Creed, we profess that we believe in the communion of Saints. We intercede each other. So, we believe that Mary’s intercession will help us to understand the mystery of the cross and the hope it brings. Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us, your children, to be compassionate like you.

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