A Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Mike Hidalgo for September 15th, 2023

The Holy Gospel according to Luke. (2:33-35)

Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Reflection:  Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, the 2nd consecutive Friday in which we remember Mary, Our Blessed Mother.  Last Friday we remembered her nativity.  Today we remember her seven sorrows.  Another name for Mary regarding this memorial is Mother of Sorrows.  When my father first brought his family to Los Angeles, we lived in South Central Los Angeles.  Our home parish was Mother of Sorrows.  I went to 1st and 2nd grade in the school and made my First Communion at Mother of Sorrows.  Mother of Sorrows in Latin is Mater Dolorosa.  As an adult, I have attended retreats at Mater Dolorosa retreat center in Sierra Madre.  On the grounds of the center, there is a beautiful meditation garden depicting the Seven Sorrows of Mary.  I have spent time in that garden in meditation and contemplation.  In my own life, I look back and see the role our Mother of Sorrows has played in my spiritual growth.     

Traditionally, the Seven Sorrows are:

  1. The Prophecy of Simeon in Luke 2. 
  2. The Flight into Egypt in Matthew 2. 
  3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem in Luke 2.  
  4. Mary meeting Jesus on the Via Dolorosa, the Fourth station of the Cross. 
  5. The Crucifixion of Jesus on Mount Calvary in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19. 
  6. Jesus’s Descent from the Cross in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19.
  7. The Burial of Jesus in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19.

Today’s Gospel is the first of the 7 sorrows of Mary.  Hebrews 4:12 reads, “Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.”  The Word of God pierced not only Mary’s Immaculate Heart, but her entire being.  She received the Word of God through the Holy Spirit via the Angel Gabriel and brought the Word Incarnate into the world.  Mary’s role is to bring us closer to her Son, Jesus, so that our hearts may be pierced with the Word of God. 

Action for the Day:  Read the Scripture references for the 7 sorrows of Mary and spend some time reflecting on them.  Mary as mother experienced these sorrows/emotions as she lived with her Son.  Some of us as parents, mothers and/or fathers, have experienced some of these emotions with our children.  Turn to Mary, who is compassionate, and ask for her intercession, as we pray, Hail Mary, full of grace…

Audio Reflection:

figurine of mother mary

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