Today in the Lenten season marks the Friday of Sorrows, a solemn remembrance of the suffering of Mary, Mother of Jesus in the Easter story. A remembrance that above all, she was a mother who was made to watch her son suffer through cruel torture and die an excruciating death.
I can’t begin to imagine her sorrow. The death of a child is one of the most unbearable sorrows that humans can bear, and she was forced to watch him die in the cruelest form possible. It wasn’t just watching him die, it was watching him be tortured, humiliated, cursed, and abandoned.
It’s again a reminder to us that these are all human stories. They are filled with the same emotions, the same highs and lows that we experience. The joys and the tragedies, the suffering and the elation. Whatever our situation, we can find those we relate to in the tale.
And there are those that can relate to Mary here. The mother standing by watching their child endure pain they wish they could take away. Watching their child die and fade away. Watching their child suffer.
To them, I think our responsibility is to be Johns. Jesus instructs his closest friend to watch over his mother. “Woman, behold your son.” “Behold your mother.” In his dying, he wished for his mother to be taken care of.
We can be that help. We can be that support to those that are grieving. To just be there - no platitudes, no need to speak, just to be there.
A help, a balm to all mothers of sorrow out there.
What a high calling indeed.
O God, in whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, the sword of sorrow didst pierce the most sweet soul of the glorious Mary, Virgin and Mother; mercifully grant that we who call to mind with veneration her anguish and suffering, by the glorious merits and prayers of all the Saints who faithfully stood beneath the Cross interceding for us, may obtain the blessed fruit of Thy Passion, Thou Who livest and reigneth with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.