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September 15, 2020

Peace and Blessings Friends and Parishioners!

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

We encourage you to read Tuesday’s scriptures at the following link:
www.usccb.org/bible/readings/091520.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the references are:
Reading 1: 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31a
Responsorial: Psalm 10:1b-5
Gospel: John 19:25-27 or Luke 2:33-35

Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
[A]nd you yourself a sword will pierce …     Luke 2:35

So many artistic images portray Mary as a picture of complete serenity, perfectly at peace with God and God’s saving plan. But a memorial such as today’s reminds us that Mary lived a human life much like our own with more than its share of sorrow and uncertainty.

One of today’s gospel options tells the story of Jesus’ presentation in the temple. Normally a joyous event when a Jewish couple celebrated the birth of their firstborn son, the ritual takes on a darker tone when Simeon foretells the conflict and sorrow that lay ahead: a sword that will pierce Mary herself.

When Mary said, “Yes” to God, she did so without fully knowing what would be asked: the fearful flight to Egypt, the worried three day searching to find her lost Son in Jerusalem, the enmity Jesus encountered, the unimaginable pain of witnessing His passion and death.

Like all disciples, Mary experienced moments of not fully understanding God’s plan, moments of wrestling with events, moments of very real human suffering. Scripture tells us that Mary pondered these events. That is, she reflected on the events of her own and Jesus’ lives, seeking to find God’s hand in them.
 
Mary’s was not a passive resignation to events nor a blind, naive faith. Rather, hers was a decision to live in hope. As a faithful Jew, Mary would have grown up hearing God’s promises to save His people. She heard that promise personally at the Annunciation. Mary chose to keep faith with God’s promises, even when confronted with difficulties and sufferings she did not fully understand. She chose to believe that life and even death are always wrapped in the love of our faithful God. This image of Mary as one who faithfully lived a human life with all its questions endears her to me more than all the triumphal titles by which she is rightly honored.

What elements of your life are you struggling to understand and to accept this day? Like Mary, can you choose to keep faith in God’s promises, trusting that all of your life is held in His loving care?

Wishing you God’s blessings,
Jean Galanti

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