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One Minute Reflection – 15 September – “Behold, your mother”

One Minute Reflection – 15 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Memorial of the Seven Sorrows of our Mother – Readings: First Timothy 3: 14-16; Psalm 111: 1-6; John 19: 25-27 or Luke 2: 33-35

“Behold, your mother” – John 19:27

REFLECTION “Woman, this is your son. This is your mother.” By what right is the disciple whom Jesus loved, the son of the Lord’s mother? By what right is she his mother? By the fact that, without pain, she brought into the world the salvation of us all, when she gave birth in the flesh to the God-man. But now she is in labour with great pain as she stands at the foot of the Cross.

At the hour of His Passion, the Lord Himself rightly compared the Apostles to a woman in childbirth, when He said: “When a woman is in labour she is in anguish because a child is born into the world” (cf. Jn 16:21). How much more, then, might such a Son compare such a Mother, the Mother standing at the foot of His Cross, to a woman in labour? What am I saying? “Compare?” She is indeed truly a woman and truly a mother and, at this hour, she is truly experiencing the pains of childbirth. When her Son was born she did not experience the anguish of giving birth in pain as other women do; it is now that she is suffering, that she is crucified, that she experiences sorrow like a woman in labour because her hour has come ( Jn 16:21; cf.13:1; 17:1). …

When this hour has passed, when the sword of sorrow has completely pierced her soul in labour (Lk 2:35), then, no more shall she “remember the pain because a child has been born into the world” – the new Man who renews the entire human race and reigns forever over the whole world, truly born, beyond all suffering, immortal, the firstborn from the dead. If the Virgin has thus brought the salvation of us all into the world, in her Son’s Passion, then she is indeed the Mother of us all!Rupert of Deutz (c 1075-1130) Benedictine Monk, Theologian, Exegete and Writer – Commentary on Saint Johns Gospel, 13 ; PL 169, 789.

PRAYER – Our Father, when Jesus Your Son, was raised up on the Cross, it was Your will that Mary, His Mother, should stand there and suffer with Him in her heart. Grant that in union with her, the Church may share in the passion of Christ and so be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Be our intercessor and our consolation, Our Lady of Sorrows, amen.

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One Minute Reflection – 15 September – “Behold your mother.”

One Minute Reflection – 15 September – The Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, Readings: 1 Corinthians 12:12-1427-31,Psalms 100:1-2345John 19:25-27 

“Near the cross of Jesus, there stood his mother…” … John 19:25

REFLECTION – “Mary, the mother of the Lord, stood by her Son’s cross. No-one has taught me this but the holy Evangelist John. Others have related how the earth was shaken at the Lord’s passion, the sky was covered with darkness, the sun withdrew itself and how the thief was, after a faithful confession, received into paradise. John tells us what the others have not told, how the Lord, while fixed on the cross called to His mother. He thought it was more important that, victorious over His sufferings, Jesus gave her the offices of piety, than that He gave her a heavenly kingdom. For, if it is the mark of religion to grant pardon to the thief, it is a mark of much greater piety, that a mother is honoured with such affection by her Son. “Behold,” He says, “your son.” “Behold your mother.” Christ testified from the cross and divided the offices of piety, between the mother and the disciple.

Nor was Mary below what was becoming of the mother of Christ. When the Apostles fled, she stood at the cross and with pious eyes beheld her Son’s wounds. For she did not look to the death of her offspring but to the salvation of the world. Or perhaps, because that “royal hall” knew that the redemption of the world would be through the death of her Son, she thought that by her death, she also might add something to that universal gift. But Jesus did not need a helper for the redemption of all, who saved all without a helper. This is why He says, “I am counted among those who go down to the pit. I am like those who have no help.” He received indeed the affection of His mother but sought not another’s help. Imitate her, holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son, set forth so great an example of maternal virtue. For neither have you sweeter children, nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able, to bear another son.” … St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church – Letter 63

PRAYER – Our Father, when Jesus Your Son, was raised up on the Cross, it was Your will that Mary, His Mother, should stand there and suffer with Him in her heart. Grant that in union with her, the Church may share in the passion of Christ and so be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Be our intercessor and our consolation, Our Lady of Sorrows, amen.

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Thoughts of Mary – 13 May – Behold Your Mother

Thoughts of Mary – 13 May – “Mary’s Month”

Behold Your Mother
Moments with Saint Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

“Shortly before His death, Jesus, seeing His Mother with the beloved disciple by her side, said to Mary, indicating John:  “Behold your son.”
Then He said to His disciple:  “Behold our Mother.”

As if enraptured by the infinite generosity of God, St Robert Bellarmine asserts, that whoever draws near to the most high God with a frank and open heart may obtain grace and salvation.   In fact, Jesus, who wanted us to be co-heirs with Himself of His Father’s Kingdom, invites us too, to share in the kindness of His perfect Mother and, she herself loves to carry on her work of mercy and solicitude for all who are working their way to their home with her Son.

“Let us then,” says Bellarmine, “hasten with confidence to Christ’s throne of grace and with prayers and profound contrition, let us beg Him to repeat for everyone of us, the words He said His Mother:  “Behold your son.”
In the same way, as He looks at Mary, may He repeat to everyone of us, the wonderful invitation:  “Behold your Mother.”

In short, here we find our true relationship, already established on earth, with Jesus our Redeemer and our brother and our relationship with Mary, the Mother of Jesus and of all who belong to the to those He has wished to redeem.
It is, therefore, a glory of Catholic worship and of the Christian Doctrine, which always presents the Lord Jesus to us with His Mother by His side.

How eternally happy are those faithful, who invoke the heavenly Queen by the sweet name of Mother and faithfully follow her counsel, her inspiration and her example!”shortly before his death - st john XXIII 13 may 2020