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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Sorrows (Holy Warriors Part 70)

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

Today’s readings:

Hebrews 5:7-9

Psalm 31:2-20

John 19:25-27

We are called to be holy warriors, engaged in the spiritual war that rages in the heavens and on earth. As MFC we are consecrated to Our Lady of the Rosary (Our Lady of Victory), and we consecrate ourselves to the cause of Jesus, the Redeemer of the world, and to Mary, his co-Redemptrix. Son and Mother are the dynamic duo that crushed the head of the serpent.

Now in war there will be suffering. Actually, in life there will be suffering. “My life is worn out by sorrow, and my years by sighing.” (Ps 31:11a). Suffering intensifies in war, especially as we face a very powerful enemy that is all out to destroy us. And this is where we look to Jesus and Mary, to whose cause we have been consecrated, who are the Man of sorrow and the Lady of Sorrows. We look to the two who have themselves suffered great sorrows.

Jesus, on the cross, “offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death” (Heb 5:7). Jesus suffered a terrible and humiliating death on the cross, and “became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Heb 5:9). Now “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered” (Heb 5:8). Suffering is not only salvific; suffering is instructional. It is as we suffer in life, and turn to God in our need, that we learn more His ways. More importantly, we enter more deeply into trust and faith in Him. “But I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My destiny is in your hands” (Ps 31:15-16a).

Then there is our Mother Mary. “Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother …” (Jn 19:25a). What anguish, pain and sorrow she must have suffered, seeing her son brutalized and now undergoing a slow painful death.

So when we have sorrows in life, we can look to Jesus and Mary. They have been through the greatest of sorrows, suffering and pain. They know what it is. We can always turn to them for comfort and care. We turn to Jesus: “Be gracious to me, Lord, for I am in distress; affliction is wearing down my eyes, my throat and my insides. …. My strength fails in my affliction; my bones are wearing down. To all my foes I am a thing of scorn” (Ps 31:10,11b,12a). And we know Jesus will be there for us: “I trust in the Lord. I will rejoice and be glad in your mercy, once you have seen my misery, and gotten to know the distress of my soul.” (Ps 31:7b-8).

And we can look to Mary, who is our loving Mother. She cradled the lifeless body of Jesus in her arms, at the very foot of the cross, covering his nakedness with her mantle. She too embraces us in our sorrow and covers us with her mantle of protection.

We can look to the dynamic duo especially as holy warriors consecrated to their cause and engaged in spiritual war. We engage with those who have turned away from God and who worship idols in this world. “You hate those who serve worthless idols.” (Ps 31:7a). We offer our whole selves to the cause. “Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, Lord, God of truth.” (Ps 31:6). We fully trust in God as our refuge and strength. “In you, Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness deliver me; …. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to save me. For you are my rock and my fortress” (Ps 31:2,3b-4a). We trust in the Lord’s victory. “You will not abandon me into enemy hands” (Ps 31:9a).

As we live our lives in this valley of tears, as we engage the enemy in a bloody war, we move forward with confidence and firm resolve, as we affirm, “My destiny is in your hands” (Ps 31:16a).

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