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Reflection on the 7 sorrows of Mary

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
1. The Prophecy of Simeon: (Lk 2:34-35 ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected- and a sword will pierce your own soul too-so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare’)

Reflection: Let us reflect on Mary’s sorrow upon hearing of the pain and sufferings Jesus, her son, is to go through.

Prayer: Let us pray for the many parents (or mothers, fathers) who are suffering for and deeply hurt by their own children.

“Father, assure them of your comfort, protection and healing, through Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.”

2. The flight into Egypt: (Mt 2:13-14 ‘Get up, take the child…and escape into Egypt…because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him…So Joseph got up, and taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt…)

Reflection: Let us reflect on the pain and the sorrow of May upon having to leave in a hurry, their home, carrying only the things they could carry and which they badly needed, to save the life of Jesus.

Prayer: Let us pray for the many refugees and asylum seekers who had to leave their homes and homeland, risking their lives, to save their own lives, especially the lives of their children.

“Father, assure them of your guidance and care through the collaborative efforts of world’s leaders and citizens to welcome them and offer them refuge. Through Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.”

3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple: (Lk 2:43-45 ‘When they were on their way home…the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations…When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere)

Reflection: Let us reflect on the worry, the anxiety, the distress, and the fear of Mary and Joseph, on the thought of their 12 year-old child who was lost in a foreign land, who knew no one and with no provision for himself.

Prayer: Let us pray for those mothers and fathers who have to bear the distress of having lost their child or children through death, separation, abandonment, indifference and neglect by their children, or through other forces like drug and alcohol addiction, or mere ingratitude.

“Father, assure them of your unconditional love and your never-ending care, through Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.”

4. The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross: (Lk 23:27 ‘Large numbers of people followed hi, and of women too, who mourned and lamented for him’)

Reflection: Let us reflect on the heartbreak of Mary upon seeing the sufferings of her Son, who was sentenced to death in a very cruel, unjust and shameful manner.

Prayer: Let us pray for those people, mothers, fathers, like Mary who are to face the painful sight and circumstance of their child or children or loved ones, being treated cruelly and unjustly, being bullied endlessly and even being put to jail without due process of the law.

“Father assure them of your truth that sets us free, the truth that gives us life and happiness forever, through Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.”

5. The Crucifixion: (Jn 19:18, 25-27 ‘They crucified Him. Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala…Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said:. ‘This is your mother’)

Reflection: Let us reflect on the sorrow of Mary having witnessed the dying moments of her son and having heard his last words.

Prayer: Let us pray for those mothers and fathers who are by circumstance, witnessing the death of their child or children due to terminal illness, or due to death inflicted by violence.

“Father, console them with the promise of the resurrection wherein they will be reunited with their loved ones once again, and where they will live together forever in heaven, through Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.”

6. The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross: (Mk 15:43, 46 ‘Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent member of the Council…boldly went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Joseph took Jesus down from the cross, wrapped him in the shroud and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock.’)

Reflection: Let us reflect on the pain of Mary of having had to bury her own son.

Prayer: Let us pray for those people, parents especially who have to face the hard truth of burying their own son or daughter, due to early death, or due to death inflicted by external forces or elements.

“Father, console them through the likes of ‘Joseph of Arimathaea’, who would take the bold moves, even put his life at risk and even gave up his personal insurance to give the dead a dignified funeral and burial, through Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.”

7. The burial of Jesus: (Jn 19:41-42 ‘At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried…they laid Jesus there’)

Reflection: Let us reflect on the how irreparable the loss Mary must have felt, on how much void the death of Jesus must have left in the heart of Mary.
Prayer: Let us pray for those people who until now are still struggling to come to terms with the death of their loved ones, especially those mothers who have lost their one and only child.

“Father, comfort them with the promise that for ‘your faithful, life is changed, not ended’ through Christ, your Son our Lord, Amen.”

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

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