Today we prayerfully ponder the fourth sorrow of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17).
“Who can know the heart of Mary as she saw her only son carrying that heavy cross. That heart must have been pierced again and again as it had so many times during her 33 years of motherhood,” says Bishop Earl Boyea in today’s meditation, September 10, “Mary, the uniquely innocent one, shares in this. Let us turn to Mary for assistance as we make our way even through evil-filled times.”
Please take a moment to watch, ponder and pray as we make our way towards the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15. Thank you. Here’s Bishop Boyea’s script in full:
There is a scene in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ where Mary meets Jesus on his journey to Golgotha and helps him up when he falls under the weight of the cross. The scene includes a flashback to her helping Jesus up as a boy when he falls and skins his knee. None of this is in the Scriptures. Still, we are told that “A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him” (Luke 23:27). Mary must have been part of this crowd, a face which Jesus must have looked for on his lonely and painful walk, an action we honor in the Fourth Station of the Cross.
Mary was clearly part of this awful day. She had carried this child for nine months in the womb and no doubt many other times during his early years. Watching him during his three years of active ministry saw him pulling further away from his earlier life into living out the full will of the Father. In short, this brief but saving pilgrimage on Jesus’ part was for Mary only a continuation of his whole life marching to a different drummer, the Father playing the tune.
In this process, Mary becomes an image of Israel. Jeremiah had cried out to his fellow citizens over five hundred years earlier: “I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, following me in the wilderness, in a land unsown. Israel was dedicated to the lord, the first fruits of his harvest…” (Jeremiah 2:1-3) Mary knew that Jesus did not need a mother, though she never ceased to be such. Rather, Jesus wanted all of us to become disciples and part of his new bride, the Church, the new Israel. For Mary, as for us, it always means crossing through the desert, the wilderness.
Sisters and brothers, who can know the heart of Mary as she saw her only son carrying that heavy cross. That heart must have been pierced again and again as it had so many times during her 33 years of motherhood. Now the end drew near. Jesus turned to the women following him and told them not to weep for him but for themselves and their children; the evil inflicted on the Son of Man who was innocent will continue to affect both the guilty and the innocent. Mary, the uniquely innocent one, shares in this. Let us turn to Mary for assistance as we make our way even through evil-filled times.