We are about halfway through Lent, and we are also about halfway through the Sorrows of Our Lady. Today, let’s meditate upon Our Lady’s fourth sorrow: Mary meeting her Son on the road to Calvary.

While this sorrow is not recorded in the Bible, it is easy to depict in our minds what unfolded as the Mother of God beheld her Son in the road to Calvary:

Christ has been condemned. He is now on His way up the road to Calvary. He is suffering physical and spiritual tortures beyond our imagination for offenses which He never committed. Where is Mary? She is in the crowd, watching. With her are John and Mary Magdalene, all of whom cannot get close to Jesus through the throng and the soldiers. But a mother’s heart is not stopped by physical boundaries. She longs to be with her Son; to give Him a kind word, a caress, or another expression of her love. All she wants is to show Him that though all the world may hate and abandon Him, she would be with Him still.

But wait! The crowd was parting; this was her chance. She made her way to where Jesus is carrying His cross. Yet another sword pierced her heart then as she gazed upon her Son. She could not stop the ruthless people around her; she could only watch, pray, and mourn. Then she saw Him raise His head, and they looked at each other, with gazes full of love. Though she could not stop His death, she could love. With all of her broken heart, stabbed by so many swords, that is what she did. She loved her Son, through all His bitter torments. She loved the Father, who sent Jesus to earth to suffer for us. She loved the Holy Spirit, through Whom all this was possible. Then through her love for God, she was able to then love the cruel people surrounding her, hoping that all this suffering would not be in vain- that they would someday be saved. Through Christ’s gaze, Mary understood that He was making this sacrifice of love willingly, and that she too, though it pained her excruciatingly, must accept with love God’s Holy Will in the salvation of mankind.

Mary continues to extend her love to men today. She wants so much for us to be close to her, and through her, even closer to Jesus. Many times however, we stray from her care and sin against God, throwing away the love He extends to us through her. When you are tempted, remember Mary’s Immaculate Heart, pierced by a sword of sorrow and surrounded by the thorns of our sins, which cares so much for us. Respond to her call of love: despise your sins, resolve never to sin again, and cling to God like a little child to his loving parent. Only through this contrite, childlike love can we comfort the heart of our mother, Mary in all her sorrow.

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!