Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
(I Timothy 1:1-2.12-14; John 19:25-27)
When the son of an eighty-plus year-old man died, the father said that it was hard to describe the loss he felt. Every day his son used to call him at noon. With the son’s death noontime, like a bell without a clapper, rang completely hollow. No doubt Mary feels some of this grief at the cross. Far from glorying in her son’s triumph over sin, she experiences the emptying of her soul with his.
In the gospel Jesus entrusts his mother to his beloved disciple. The act not only guarantees her welfare but in a more profound way represents the beginning of the Church. Mary will form the heart of the community by both remembering Jesus’ earliest days and telling the significance of his mission.
Many old men and women sit alone in apartments and nursing homes. Their physical needs may be provided for, but they long to hear the voices of people who care about them. We can never replace a son or daughter who is no longer or perhaps never was there for them. But like the beloved disciple to Mary, we may provide them some consolation.