Today, the Catholic Church celebrates Our Lady of Sorrows, recalling how Mary shared in the sorrows of her Son, Jesus.
Here in Central America the feast is over-shrouded by the celebration of independence. There are parades and early morning firecrackers.
Some countries also celebrate Our Lady of Sorrows on the Friday before Palm Sunday. Here in Santa Rosa we have celebrated that feast with the diocesan Stations of the Cross where thousands come from all over the diocese (some traveling six or more hours in bus) to walk the streets and pray the stations.
What strikes me is how the sufferings of Christ – and of Mary – are related to the sufferings of the people. Christ and Mary are in solidarity with the struggles of the poor.
Shouldn’t we also be in solidarity with them? Isn’t this what the first paragraph of the Second Vatican Council’s “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World” [Gaudium et Spes] calls us to be?
The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts.
This is for me the meaning of this feast. Sorrows are real but there is hope since Jesus and Mary are with us in our suffering and in the struggle for life and justice.