Today, the Friday before Holy Week, some countries celebrate the feast of our Lady of Sorrows.
The feast resonates in my heart for a number of reasons. First of all, in the mid-1960s, I volunteered a bit at the church of Our Mother of Sorrows in a poor, African-American section of Philadelphia, helping a teacher and even playing the organ at some Sunday Masses. My commitment to justice was nourished in that church.
Today we are reminded that Mary, faithful Mother, shared in the sufferings of her Son and all the suffering peoples of the world. She is a model of the compassion of God for the poor and suffering.
On December 1, 1977, Monseñor Oscar Romero, the martyred archbishop of San Salvador, spoke these inspiring words on Mary, which we might reflect on this coming Holy Week:
Even when all despaired
at the hour when Christ was dying on the cross,
awaited the hour of the resurrection.
Mary is the symbol
of the people who suffer oppression and injustice.
Theirs is the calm suffering
that awaits the resurrection.
It is Christian suffering,
the suffering of the church,
which does not accept the present injustices
but awaits without rancor the moment
when the Risen One will return.