Reflection for Monday, September 15, 2022: 24th Week of Ordinary Time.
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|As I reflect on the Gospel readings for today considering the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, I think of the Mothers of the Martyrs in Argentina known as the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. They are an Argentine human rights association formed in 1977 in response to the military dictatorship that committed atrocious crimes against humanity in the kidnapping, torture, murder, and imprisonment of their children, some 30,000 individuals, who dared to oppose the regime of the ruthless dictator Jorge Rafael Videla. The mothers dedicated themselves to demanding the restoration of democracy and justice for those who committed the atrocities. They were highly effective. And I am aware that everywhere, in all times and places, there are mothers in sorrow for the suffering of their children. And everywhere, there are those who continue to fight for justice. Their efforts are met with resistance, but they are also often remarkably effective.|The words I read this day that offer comfort amid the horrible suffering in the world are found in the book of Luke. Simeon told Mary, even before the birth of her son, that a sword would pierce her own heart because her child was destined to be caught up in the conflicts of political regimes. Simeon reminded Mary that this must be so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. This a profound insight that can be applied to all conflicts related to power. It is not just about winners and losers. It is usually more about justice and injustice. This time, it was Mary who got caught up in the main political conflict of the day and her son was on the center stage. And the thoughts of many hearts were about to be revealed as Mary shares in the martyrdom of Christ with her sorrow.|But this story was not just a tragic drama. We know it was not the end of a life of a young martyr seeking to bring justice to the earth. This was the biggest drama in human history. Just as the death of Christ was not in vain, neither was the sorrow of his mother, as long as there are people of faith who live out its new beginning. As Paul reminds us, we must hold fast to our belief that Christ died for our sins. We are now central players in the big drama. To me that means we must be in solidarity with those who suffer sorrow, yes, and suffer with them, but not without hope. I believe we must also be in solidarity with those who toil in the kingdom of hope. I have learned that is where the grace of God is remarkably effective in our lives.|Mary's life reveals to us that we cannot escape pain as followers of Christ. Rather, we should share the suffering of Christ with Mary and with each other. I believe that is what it means to stay with Mary and with each other at the cross. In my faith journey, I have found that it is there at the cross of Christ, standing with each other, that Jesus gives us more fully to each other to care for each other. It is there, amid the sorrow, that Christ shows us the greatest compassion. It is there amid the sorrow that he dies for our sins. And yes, it is there that he gives us each other so that we may live.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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