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Sorrowful Blessedness through Humility

55521454-988D-4CFC-B002-73C50937C79AEvery 15 September, we celebrate and are reminded of the sorrows (7 sorrows) of Mary right after the celebration of the Triumph of the Cross of her Son Jesus (14 September).

1. The Prophesy of Simeon: “A sword shall pierce your heart” because of her Child (Luke 2: 34, 35)
2. The Flight into Egypt: King Herod seeks to kill the child Jesus who will become the future king of Israel, and thus a rival to Herod’s throne (Matt. 2: 13, 14)
3. The Finding in the Temple: The child Jesus was nowhere to be found for three days after the Passover Feast in Jerusalem; Mary grieved for the loss, plus the anguish/anxiety of what happened to her Son (Luke 2: 43-45)
4. The Carrying of the Cross: Mary’s heart is breaking as she sees her Son carries the cross and stumbles under the weight of the cross
5. The Crucifixion of Jesus: With her Son’s dying like a criminal, Mary’s heart is pierced with sorrow as she stands at the foot of the cross
6. Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross: Mary received the lifeless body of her Son in her arms as He is being lowered from the cross
7. The Burial of Jesus: The last glimpse of the dead body of her Son by a grieving mother over the loss of her Son

 

During the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to become the Mother of the Son of God, she freely gave her consent: “Let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1: 38).

Likewise, during the Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel told Mary that her Son Jesus “will be great, and He will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke: 1: 32). But, one could just imagine how Mary would have lived this message of the Angel Gabriel from Jesus’ birth until His death. With all these sorrows (7 sorrows) that Mary underwent, could one still say that her Son Jesus would be “Great”? This must have been a great difficulty for Mary. But with her profound and great humility, she did not lose trust in God, and never wavered in her faith. For it is only through humility that one attains greatness or blessedness/holiness. As St. Augustine would remind us that the way towards holiness/blessedness or greatness is through humility: ‘The first step towards holiness/blessedness or greatness is humility, the second is humility, the third is humility, the fourth is humility, and so on and so forth….’ (cfr. Letters 118, 22). For unless our good works are preceded, accompanied, and followed by humility, then pride may set in and destroy our good works. Yes, Mary’s holiness/blessedness or greatness lies, not much of being the Mother of God, but much more on her being humble and on her being obedient to the Will of God: “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1: 38).

Mary indeed experienced sorrows (7 sorrows), but her sorrows were turned into joy.  For in life, we know from experience that unless there is battle, there will be no victory; that unless there is death, there will be no resurrection; that unless there is Good Friday, there will be no Easter Sunday; and that unless there is sorrow (suffering/pain), there will be no glory.

Mary, as the first disciple of her Son Jesus, offers us the road towards greatness or blessedness/holiness: humility and obedience to God’s Will. Let us then take Mary as our model in bringing us to her Son Jesus: “To Jesus through Mary.”

By Religious Contributor, Fr. Melchor Mirador

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