September 15, 2017


September 15, 2017:  Our Lady of Sorrows

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

Stabat mater ["Mary stood" (at the foot of the cross)] settings (sequence)

But in the AABCCB rhyme pattern please don't match 'you' with 'me' (A) or 'divine' with 'yours' (B); just keep 'thee' and 'thine' or even sing it in Latin.
For Psalm 16
  • 1 Tm 1:1-2, 12-14  Paul, Apostle of Christ Jesusto Timothy, my child in faith:  grace, mercy, and peace from God and Christ Jesus.  I am grateful Christ strengthened me, considered me trustworthy, and appointed me.  I was once a persecutor and arrogant man, but he treated me with mercy.  Our Lord's grace, faith, and love have been abundant.
    "SWord cloud" from Stabat Mater text
  • Ps 16:1b-2a, 5, 7-8, 11  "You are my inheritance, O Lord."  I take refuge in you, my portion and cup, who counsel and exhort me.  With you at my right hand, I won't be disturbed.  You'll show me the path to life, joy in your presence, delight at your right hand forever.
  • Jn 19:25-27  Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved, he told his mother, “Behold, your son,” and the disciple, “Behold, your mother.”  The disciple took her into his home.
  • Lk 2:33-35  Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was said about him.  Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, “This child is destined for the fall and rise of many, and to be a sign that will be contradicted, and a sword will pierce you so the thoughts of many may be revealed.”
  • Creighton:  It's hard to imagine what it would be like to see your son beaten, scourged, and crucified, but Mary knew her blessings as Mother of God would bring pain.  Her capacity to love in the face of sorrow is beacon to us all.  We know we can turn to her in our sorrow, joy, or frustration, and she'll be there with love and understanding.  Today's sequence reminds us of the love that comforts grief and helps heal wounds.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Mother of Forgiveness":  Jesus commanded his mother to adopt his disciples, represented by a nameless, beloved disciple, though they were accomplices in his death through their sins.  Who would have the mercy and forgiveness to adopt someone who helped murder your son?  And Jesus told her to adopt us when the results of our sins were killing him. Who would adopt their son's murderers at the hour of the murder?  The Mother of Sorrows is the mother of those who caused her sorrows; she chose to be mother of her son's murderers, of us who helped kill Him through our sins; she adopted us when we were least adoptable because she's Mother of Forgiveness.  Mother of Forgiveness, pray that we may be forgiven, saved, and forgiving.
    Our Mother of Sorrows icon
  • Passionist:  No mother should have to experience what Mary did as she watched her son die.  Often women must live with the horror of war and violence.  Mary stood (stabat Mater) at the foot of the cross, eyes riveted on Jesus, heart torn by sorrow; then he gave her the beloved disciple as her son.  Mary, may I appreciate you as my mother, go to you with my doubts and fears, trusting in your loving care for me.  Help me to have a compassionate heart as I see Jesus suffering in today's crucified.
  •  "Standing by the cross":  The cross brings us face to face with Jesus' suffering.  He was deserted by almost all the apostles, who had fled in fear.  But Mary and three other women who loved him were there; they demonstrate how love overcomes fear.
When Jesus was presented in the temple, Simeon predicted Mary would suffer.  Many have called Mary a martyr in spirit.  "Jesus died in body through a love greater than anyone had known; Mary died in spirit through a love unlike any since his" (Bernard).  Mary did not despair, sustained in faith and hope by her trust in God and love for her Son.  Jesus in his suffering entrusted Mary's care to John and John's to her; no suffering can keep us from his love that bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things.  There's no greater proof of God's love for us than Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.
Pope Francis Amoris Lætitia capsule:  A big heart
Don't overlook the larger family; friends and other families are part of this larger family, as well as communities of families who support one another in their difficulties, social commitments, and faith.  This larger family should love and support teen mothers, children without parents, single mothers, persons with disabilities, young people struggling with addiction, the unmarried, separated, or widowed who are alone, and the elderly and infirm.  It should also embrace those who have made shipwreck of their lives.  This family can help make up for parents' shortcomings, detect and report possible situations in which children suffer violence or abuse, and provide love and stability when parents don't.

This larger family includes in-laws and all the couple's relatives, not to be viewed as competitors, threats, or intruders.  Marriage demands respect for their traditions, understanding their language, caring for and cherishing them, maintaining the couple's privacy and independence, and not criticizing; willingness to do this is an expression of love for your spouse. (V:196-98)
Dress legend
  • 'OneLife LA' sign button:  Mary's respect for life; “This child is... to be a sign that will be contradicted,..." (gospel)
  • 'Sword' tie pin, 'pierced hearts' suspenders:  "...and a sword will pierce through you" (gospel)
  • 'Mary' pin, 'crucifix' chain:  Mary et al. were standing by the cross of Jesus (gospel)
  • 'Wood block' tie pin, brown sandals (not shown):  Wood of the Cross (gospel, plus yesterday)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  With the Lord at my right hand I won't be disturbed; you'll show me delights at your right hand (psalm)
  • 'Cars on roads' tie:  You'll show me the path to life (psalm)
  • 'Baseball mitt' tie (with cupped hand):  Lord, my allotted portion and 'cup' (psalm) [a stretch because today's tie trumped my 'cups tie']
  • White shirt:  color of today's memorial 
Special greetings to and prayers for the communities at...

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