Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Remembrance of Mary, Mother of Jesus, sorrowful at the foot of the cross, and of all those who live the compassion with those who are crucified, alone and condemned.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 19,25-27

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, 'Woman, this is your son.' Then to the disciple he said, 'This is your mother.' And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Immediately after the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, the liturgy celebrates the feast of Jesus' Mother Mary of Sorrows. It is a title, Mother of Sorrows, that spread largely in the past centuries and involved deeply piety in Christian people. The Gospel of John, in a few lines, tells the extraordinary mystery of Mary's presence who remains next to her Son at the moment of his death on the cross and just from the cross, she receives from him a new mission. The Passion of Jesus is undoubtedly marked by violence and betrayal, but not only. From the passion and from the cross, a hymn to a new life also springs forth. From the cross, in fact, Jesus does not ask for consolation for himself, as we would have done legitimately for ourselves, nor to be liberated from the torture he was suffering, notwithstanding his dramatic cry about the Father's abandonment. Jesus, nailed on the cross and dying, takes care of that little group that was under his cross, especially his mother and the young disciple who, after fleeing, reached him at the feet of the cross. In the face of the disciple, Jesus sees the face of the disciples, even ours. Through that disciple, Jesus entrusts us all to his mother, Mary, the Church, the community of believers. And, vice versa, he gives Mary, his Mother, to the Church and to each of us. Under the cross a new family is born. We are no longer abandoned to a society that cares little for its children. Jesus asks Mary to be also our Mother. While dying, he entrusts her with a new task, a new mission, that of being mother of all. The ancient Fathers acknowledged that not enough is said of Mary, of this Mother. And it is in a sense very true: Mary is the first of the believers, the first to have a heart like her Son. And the many images of Our Lady of Sorrow that are kept by believers throughout the world show the need that we all have for a mother like Mary. And Jesus granted her to us. Today we gather around her so that she may be close to us as she was to Jesus and protect us.