It would not be an exaggeration to say that Mary is the most blessed, privileged, person to come from the hand of God. She was, after all, chosen to be mother to his only-begotten Son. Imagine her delight in raising the Savior of the world, challenging though the job must have been! Throughout her life, Mary pondered and treasured the work of God and rejoiced to see his plan unfold through her.
Yet Mary also knew the deepest of human sorrows. Just days after her son was born, the prophet Simeon told her, “A sword will pierce your own soul” (Luke 2:35). These words certainly could have discouraged Mary from embracing the role that God had laid out for her—or at least drained her of all enthusiasm for her calling. But they didn’t. Instead, Mary embraced them, pondered them, and continued to live by faith in God.
Mary certainly suffered, but she was also a woman of joy and hope. Her intimacy with God was a source of consolation and trust that could withstand any tragedy. Mary is called Our Lady of Sorrows not because of the bad things that happened to her but because of the way she joined her heart to the heart of God. As she saw her son endure the hatred of some of Israel’s religious leaders, as she saw his disciples abandon him in his moment of need, as she saw him arrested, tried, and put to death—in all these things, Mary grasped how deeply the Father’s heart was aching with love for a wayward people. Hers were the sorrows of an intercessor who knew the suffering in the world and longed to see all people turn to Jesus for healing and salvation.
As she stood at the foot of the cross, Mary’s heart was indeed pierced—not only by the sight of Jesus’ suffering but also by all the suffering in the world. Even now, as she intercedes with her Son in heaven, she is the mother of all those who suffer in any way. Even today, she continues to weep over all the crushing needs in this world. Like Mary, let us lift our hearts in intercession for all those who are lost or hurting.
Pray for us, O Most Sorrowful Virgin, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ Lord Jesus, we now implore, both for the present and for the hour of our death, the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Your Mother, whose Holy Soul was pierced during Your Passion by a sword of grief. Grant us this favor, O Savior of the world, Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.