Homily September 15th, 2023

Our Lady of Sorrows – Option 2 – September 15th

Today we celebrate the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, which falls on the day after the Exaltation of the Cross. It’s worth noting, though, that the feast also falls on the octave of Mary’s birthday, September 8th. Liturgically, then, today culminates what could be called a synopsis of Mary’s life; she’s born, and in the fullness of time she dies mystically on Calvary, all the while with her thoughts and life centered on the Cross.

Simeon’s prophecy makes this clear. Commenting on his words, Fulton Sheen said, “She was told that He would be rejected by the world, and with His Crucifixion there would be her transfixion. As the Child willed the Cross for Himself, so He willed the Sword of Sorrow for her. If He chose to be a Man of Sorrows, He also chose her to be a Mother of Sorrows! God does not always spare the good from grief. The Father spared not the Son, and the Son spared not the mother. With His Passion there must be her compassion. An unsuffering Christ Who did not freely pay the debt of human guilt would be reduced to the level of an ethical guide; and a mother who did not share in His sufferings would be unworthy of her great role.”[1] If Jesus was born to die, then, in a sense, Mary too was born to suffer and die in her soul. This is her vocation, and ours as well: to live focused and centered on the Cross and on Christ Crucified. Our Lady of Sorrows is the blueprint for our vocations: to be with Christ Crucified, enduing everything, embracing everything, and remaining near Him, all for the salvation of souls. To share her sorrows is to become “worthy sons and daughters of so noble a mother.

Saint Albert the Great writes that “As we are under great obligations to Jesus for His Passion endured for our love, so also are we under great obligations to Mary for the martyrdom which She voluntarily suffered for our salvation in the death of Her Son.” Let us ask, through her intercession, for the grace to center our lives on the Cross, as she did.

[1] Life of Christ, 38.



Other posts


A. Institution of the Diaconate in the Church The diaconate