By Arthur Policarpio
September 15 is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Let us reflect on the sufferings experienced by Our Lady.
Mothers will easily be able to understand Mary's pain of seeing her Child suffer. Isn't it that when the child is sick or in pain, the mother suffers as much as, if not more than, the child - emotionally, psychologically and spiritually?
When my son was only a little more than 1 year old, he suffered a terrible accident. His hand was burned by boiling water that accidentally spilled on him. The burn was severe. The skin was literally torn away, the flesh of his hand exposed - raw and mercilessly scalded.
My wife brought our child to the hospital. It was by far the most agonizing 30-minute car ride she has ever experienced. Our son was wailing uncontrollably, in total anguish and pain. Try touching a hot kettle for just 3 seconds - the pain is severe. Pour boiling water on the entire hand - the tender hand of a 1-year-old - and you can imagine the world of pain and trauma experienced by our child.
My son's pain was severe, but after months of treatment, he is already okay. Nothing but a scar and color discoloration in his hand remains of his ordeal. His mother's pain, on the other hand, will stay forever etched in her heart. There is nothing more painful in the world for a mother than to see her own child suffer severely.
And yet, despite the sufferings brought about by that ordeal, that experience is nothing compared to what Our Lady of Sorrows went through.
Her Son was falsely accused of a crime He did not commit.
Her Son, who had nothing but comforting and loving words for everyone, was subjected to blasphemous curses.
Her Son, who had nothing but healing hands for the sick and downtrodden, was mercilessly hit by murderous hands that disfigured his face with numerous blows.
Her Son's body, whom she bore into this world with the aid of the Holy Spirit, was torn beyond recognition by thousands of brutal scourges - a scourging so brutal that it almost killed Him.
Her Son was killed. But not killed in an ordinary way. He was killed in the most painful and most humiliating way possible - naked, hanging on a cross, huge nails buried deep into His hands and feet.
Her Son - flesh of her flesh, blood of her blood. Her only reason for living. Killed in front of her very eyes. What pain and suffering endured by Our Lady of Sorrows!
It is no accident that the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows comes right after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (celebrated yesterday, September 14). The Mother suffered with the Son. The Son was physically crucified, the Mother was emotionally and spiritually crucified. It is for this reason that she is called Co-redemptrix - a title which means "with the Redeemer". Mary suffered with Jesus, the Redeemer.
And yet, the important thing to remember is that while the Mother suffered, the story does not end in Calvary. The story of Christianity does not end with the Cross. Rather, it ends - or more appropriately, it begins - in the exultation of the Resurrection. After the pain and sorrows, Mary experienced the incomparable joy of the Resurrection of her Son.
As Christians, we too will go through the same experience as Our Lady. Our sufferings in life will never be comparable to Our Lady's suffering, but for sure, we too will always have our own crosses to carry in this life.
But let us remember that just like Our Lady, the story does not end with the cross. We too will experience our own resurrection. There will always be light at the end of the tunnel. There will always be a resurrection for us after the passion and the sorrows.
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