Today’s feast is Our Lady of Sorrows, and the Gospel reading for today’s Mass features the prophecy of Simeon to Mary as she (and Joseph!) bring forth the Child Jesus to be dedicated in the Temple: “You, yourself, a sword shall pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed.”
In Catholic Theology, Mary has a unique and special role to play in the working out of the salvation of the world. Because she is the avenue through which Our Lord takes on humanity, she also becomes the avenue through which His graces, earned on the Cross, flow back to humanity. But as is always the case, it is not one of triumphalism, but of an embrace of the Cross. Mary becomes the living model of what St. Paul will say: “By my sufferings, I make up for what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.”
When we suffer and ‘offer it up,’ we become little channels of grace just as Mary is the channel of grace, par excellance. We, too, are called to suffer so that others may see the folly of a world that shuns suffering as useless; for we know it brings about salvation.