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. (Jn. 19:26-27)
Today’s memorial of Mary as Our Lady of Sorrows follows naturally from yesterday’s Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. It brings us with Mary to the foot of the cross where she remains despite her unimaginable sorrow. Her faith and perseverence is an example to all Christians.
The “Beloved Disciple” does not only refer to St. John the Apostle, but represents all Christians. We too are called to stand by the cross, not to flee it as all the other apostles did in their weakness. Christ says to each one of us, “Behold, your mother.” Each of us is free and responsible to choose our response: will we imitate St. John and take her into our homes and into our hearts as our mother, or will we turn our backs and leave her to suffer alone?
All Christians are to strive to do Christ’s will. As the brief scripture above makes clear, He spent some of His final excruciating breaths to entrust His beloved and devoted mother to His beloved and devoted disciple. So surely there is only one right response for us to make. And yet there are Christians, and even Catholics, who regard her with indifference or perhaps even coldness.
Her pure heart, however, pierced by a sword and tried and tested like gold in fire, knows no resentment. She prays tenderly for all her children, expecting nothing in return. Let us pray with her that all Christians may return her love and make a home for her in their hearts.