READINGS for 2021-09-15

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

THE RISE OF THE NONES
And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home. – John 19:27, NLT

More and more young people choose not to have a religion. When they answer a form that asks for their religion, they write the word none. At first, I felt sad and mad about this. But after searching my heart, I found in me a sense of compassion for the younger generation.

I’m not giving up hope on them because I have a daughter to whom I want to pass on my legacy of faith, hope, and love in the context of a spiritual family. This is what The Feast is about—it gives young people the chance to experience God’s love through our weekly gathering. We teach our members to do life together through discipleship.

In today’s Gospel, it was a painful experience for Mary to see her Son suffer, but having companions during this difficult time comforted her. Symbolically, Jesus entrusted the Church—represented by John—to her.

Let’s counter the rise of the nones and lead them to discover the faith. This journey may be rough, but we draw strength from Mother Mary and the Church who walk with us. JC Libiran (coachjclibiran@gmail.com)


reflect

What steps can you take to rediscover your faith?

Mama Mary, pray for us and lead us closer to Jesus. Amen.


Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

COMPANION

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

First Reading | Hebrews 5:7-9 (or 1 Timothy 3:14-16)

While it is difficult to feel love in the midst of difficulties, it seems God uses suffering to show His love for His people. Some of the most loving people I have met are those who have suffered much. The power of love overcomes all obstacles if we listen to God speak to us through them.

7 In the days when Christ was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; 9 and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.


Responsorial Psalm | Psalm 31:2-3, 3-4, 5-6, 15-16, 20 (or Psalm 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6)

R: Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

2 In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me, 3 make haste to deliver me! (R) Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety. 4 You are my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me. (R) 5 You will free me from the snare they set for me, for you are my refuge. 6 Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O Lord, O faithful God. (R) 15 But my trust is in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” 16 In your hands is my destiny; rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors. (R) 20 How great is the goodness, O Lord, which you have in store for those who fear you, and which, toward those who take refuge in you, you show in the sight of the children of men. (R)


Gospel | John 19:25-27 (or Luke 2:33-35)

Mary was closely united with Jesus. She went through tremendous sorrow as she witnessed the agony, suffering, and approaching death of her Son. If only Mary had the benefit of hindsight, as we do, she would know the marvelous result Jesus’ suffering would bring to the world.


Gospel Acclamation

Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary; without dying you won the martyr’s crown beneath the Cross of the Lord.

25 Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.


Reflect:
“Jesus is the sun and Mary is the dawn announcing His rising.” (Pope Francis)

Read the Bible in one year! Read JEREMIAH 45 - 48 today

SABBATH

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

The Worth of Seven Dolors

The short Gospel passage today refers directly to today’s feast—the Seven Dolors of Mary.

At the risk of sounding flippant, let me state that I know exactly what is the worth of seven dollars. It can buy me in pesos a satisfying enough lunch or dinner, depending on where I go. But while it is easy enough to count the exact value of seven dollars in the Philippine setting, today’s feast may be a little obscure for the average Catholic who comes to church only three times in a year—Christmas, New Year, and on the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A fourth may be added— the town or village fiesta.

The seven dolors of Mary, alluded to or inferred in all four Gospels, is a tougher nut to crack for most Filipinos: “A sword shall cut through your very life.” Reasons? For one, suffering is an unpopular word. It is unacceptable. One only needs to see the rising number of depression cases or suicides and attempted suicides not only in the country but all over the world. I am almost certain that many of you have had personal knowledge of at least one or two cases in the last few years. Second, we are hard-pressed to talk of suffering as imbued with meaning, whether personal or collective. Suffering is plain senseless to many. As a counselor, I have met many who, in the throes of intense psychological and physical pain on account of bodily and mental illness, the piercing questions all boil down to either “What for” and “Why me?”

The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows comes right after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, which was yesterday. I think I know why. Both Jesus’ and Mary’s pain are answers to our two questions. When in the throes of midlife I hit rock bottom owing to what I was convinced was a slew of undeserved pain caused by others, no high-falutin theology helped me. Only the Lord and His mother, in their own undeserved pain, lent meaning to my own. How about you? Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB


reflection question

How do you find meaning in your own suffering and sorrow?

Mother Mary, may your seven sorrows give me consolation in my own suffering. Amen.

Today, I pray for: _______________________


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