Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.’ And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
~ Luke 2:34-35, 51(RSVCE)
Jesus is covered in blood, sweat, and spit, bent under the weight of the cross, subjected to angry shouts of hate. And Mary, experiencing every mother’s worst nightmare that her child will suffer harm, feels the sword pierce her soul.
One cannot imagine the pain Our Lord felt when he had to witness the intense agony of His own Blessed Mother on the road to Calvary. When we see the meeting of the Mother and Son, we are witnessing perfect love, not just of the love for each other, but their love for all mankind, both placing themselves upon the altar of Calvary so that we can be freed from sin and eternal death.
Moving with fiercely protective love, she offers her son the little she can: the comfort of her presence. Any parent would be in unendurable agony from watching the cruel torture and death of his or her child and being unable to stop it. But how much worse was it for this most perfect and sinless human being who was united completely with Her Son?
The disciples fled, she did not flee. She stayed there, with the courage of a mother, with the fidelity of a mother, with the goodness of a mother, and with her faith.
St. Antoninus says,
“While other martyrs suffered by sacrificing their own lives, the Blessed Virgin suffered by sacrificing her Son’s life, a life that she loved far more than her own; so that she not only suffered in her soul all that her Son endured in His body but moreover the sight of her Son’s torments brought more grief to her heart than if she had endured them all in her own person. No one can doubt that Mary suffered in her heart all the pain which she saw inflicted on her beloved son, Jesus.”
Holy Mary, Mother of our Lord, you remained faithful when the disciples fled. Just as you believed when the angel announced to you – that you were going to become the mother of the Most High – so too you believed at the hour of His greatest humiliation. Thus it was that, at the hour of the cross, at the hour of the darkest night of the world, you became Mother of believers, the Mother of the Church. We pray to you; teach us to believe, and grant that our faith may bear fruit in courageous service and be the sign of love ever ready to share suffering and to offer assistance. Amen.
Having only one child and being attached to her, I always dreaded the day she would move out of the house for higher studies or when she got married and went away with her husband. I used to cry bitterly just at the thought of it. But being in the community, I learnt that being attached to my child was not what God wanted me to do. Yes, He blessed us with her, we are merely caretakers and I had to let go of my possessiveness. I prayed to Mother Mary to give me the strength to stay bold and not curb the freedom of my child to see the world and study or work away from home. I used to imagine what Mother Mary felt when she had to part with her son and when she had to see Him suffering and being led to die on the cross. That gave me the strength to overcome this pain of separation and I was able to grow in this area and not get emotional but stay bold and enjoy the fact that our daughter has grown into an independent, responsible person. I also seek the intercession of Mother Mary to bless her and keep her humble and obedient to her husband.
- I will pray for children who do not respect their parents.
- I will pray for parents who have lost their child due to accident or illness that the Lord may fill the void in their lives with His love.
- I will pray for childless couples that through the intercession of Mother Mary, they may be blessed with children.