Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 100, the “Jubilate Deo” – “Rejoice in the Lord”. These verses, on the feast of our Sorrowful Mother, might seem a bit contradictory:
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
But I think the seeming contradiction reveals a deep truth.
For those who live in God,
no sorrow can eradicate their resolute joy.
Certainly, like Mary, the faithful heart feels sorrow for both personal pain and the pain of all Creation. But the pain and sorrow is not the end of their feeling. There is a joyful hope because God abides with us in any suffering, promising that no evil can defeat the one who believes.
Mary believed that with all her heart and lived it. She invites us to the same courageous faith. As Psalm 100 assures us:
Know that the LORD is God;
Who made us, whose we are;
God’s people, the flock God tends.
For the Lord is good,
whose kindness endures forever,
and whose faithfulness is to all generations.
Poem: Today’s poetic passage is from one of the great classics of Christian literature, A Woman Wrapped in Silence by Father John W. Lynch.
The book is a masterpiece best appreciated in reflective contemplation. I have chosen a sliver of its beauty today, one of many that captures Mary’s joy born of faith-filled suffering. This selection imagines what it was like when Mary remained in the Upper Room as the others, not knowing what to expect, went to the tomb early on Easter morning. The Resurrected Jesus comes to Mary first, before any other appearance.
Or is it true or thought of her she found no need To search? And better said that she had known Within, they’d not discover him again Among the dead? That he would not be there Entombed, and she had known, and only watched Them now as they were whispering of him, And let them go, and listened afterward To footsteps that were fading in the dark. To wait him here. Alone. Alone. A woman Lonely in the silence and the trust Of silence in her heart that did not seek, Or cry, or search, but only waited him. We have no word of this sweet certainty That hides in her. There is not granted line Writ meager in the scripture that will tell By even some poor, unavailing tag Of language what she keeps within the silence. This is hers. We are not told of this, This quaking instant, this return, this Light Beyond the tryst of dawn when she first lifted Up her eyes, and quiet, unamazed, Saw He was near.
Music: Jubilate Deo – Mozart