(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis marked the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows during Monday morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, with a reflection on how Mary learned, obeyed and suffered at the foot of the Cross.
The Holy Father said that in the liturgy of the day first we are shown the glorious Cross, then the meek and humble Mother. In the Letter to the Hebrews, "Paul emphasizes three strong words": he says that Jesus "learned, obeyed and suffered". "It’s the opposite of what had happened to our father Adam, who did not want to learn what the Lord commanded, who did not want to suffer, or obey." Instead, even though Jesus is God, He "is annihilated, He humbled Himself and became a servant. This is the glory of the Cross of Jesus":
"Jesus came into the world to learn how to be a man, and by being a man, walk with men. He came into the world to obey, and He obeyed. But he learned this obedience from suffering. Adam left Paradise with a promise, a promise that lasted for so many centuries. Today, through this obedience, this self-abnegation, this humiliation, through Jesus, that promise becomes hope. And the people of God walk with sure hope. Even the Mother, 'the New Eve', as Paul himself calls her, in order to participate in her Son’s journey, learned, suffered and obeyed. And thus she becomes Mother”.
The Gospel shows us Mary at the foot of the Cross. Jesus says to John, "Behold your mother." Mary - the Pope said - "is anointed Mother"
"And this is our hope. We are not orphans, we have Mothers: Mother Mary. But the Church is Mother and the Mother Church is anointed when it takes the same path of Jesus and Mary: the path of obedience, the path of suffering, and when she has that attitude of continually learning the path of the Lord. These two women - Mary and the Church - carry on the hope that is Christ, they give us Christ, they bring forth Christ in us. Without Mary, there would be no Jesus Christ; without the Church, we cannot go forward".
"Two women and two mothers" - continued the Pope Francis - and next to them our soul, which in the words of Isaac, the abbot of Stella, is "feminine" and is like "Mary and the Church".
"Today, looking at this woman by the Cross, steadfast in following her Son in His suffering to learn obedience, looking at her we see the Church and look at our Mother. And also, we look at our little soul that will never be lost, if it continues to be a woman close to these two great women who accompany us in life: Mary and the Church. And just as our fathers left Paradise with a promise, today we can go forward with a hope: the hope that our Mother Mary, steadfast at the Cross, and our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church, give us. "
Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows Lectionary: 443/639
Reading 11 COR 11:17-26, 33
Brothers and sisters: In giving this instruction, I do not praise the fact that your meetings are doing more harm than good. First of all, I hear that when you meet as a Church there are divisions among you, and to a degree I believe it; there have to be factions among you in order that also those who are approved among you may become known. When you meet in one place, then, it is not to eat the Lord’s supper, for in eating, each one goes ahead with his own supper, and one goes hungry while another gets drunk. Do you not have houses in which you can eat and drink? Or do you show contempt for the Church of God and make those who have nothing feel ashamed? What can I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this matter I do not praise you.
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my Body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my Blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
Responsorial Psalm PS 40:7-8A, 8B-9, 10, 17
R. (1 Cor 11:26b) Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again. Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Burnt offerings or sin offerings you sought not; then said I, “Behold I come.” R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again. “In the written scroll it is prescribed for me, To do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!” R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again. I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know. R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again. May all who seek you exult and be glad in you And may those who love your salvation say ever, “The LORD be glorified.” R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
Sequence (Optional) - Stabat Mater
At the cross her station keeping, Stood the mournful Mother weeping, Close to Jesus to the last.
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing, All his bitter anguish bearing, Now at length the sword had passed.
Oh, how sad and sore distressed Was that Mother highly blessed Of the sole begotten One!
Christ above in torment hangs, She beneath beholds the pangs Of her dying, glorious Son.
Is there one who would not weep, ‘Whelmed in miseries so deep, Christ’s dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain From partaking in her pain, In that mother’s pain untold?
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled, She beheld her tender Child, All with bloody scourges rent.
For the sins of his own nation Saw him hang in desolation Till his spirit forth he sent.
O sweet Mother! font of love, Touch my spirit from above, Make my heart with yours accord.
Make me feel as you have felt; Make my soul to glow and melt With the love of Christ, my Lord.
Holy Mother, pierce me through, In my heart each wound renew Of my Savior crucified.
Let me share with you his pain, Who for all our sins was slain, Who for me in torments died.
Let me mingle tears with you, Mourning him who mourned for me, All the days that I may live.
By the cross with you to stay, There with you to weep and pray, Is all I ask of you to give.
Virgin of all virgins blest! Listen to my fond request: Let me share your grief divine.
Let me to my latest breath, In my body bear the death Of that dying Son of yours.
Gospel JN 19:25-27
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
Or LK 2:33-35
Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”