Today, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, I reflected on the Seven Sorrows of Mary as I tromped around the city. I didn't get much further than the first three -- the ones that have to do with Jesus as a child: Simeon's Prophecy, The Flight Into Egypt, and The Loss of Jesus.
The Flight Into Egypt stopped me
It was sad -- I was saddened -- to think about how Mary felt, far, far, away from home, in a strange land. I pictured her leaning against, I don't know, a pyramid maybe, lovingly watching her young Boy playing in the sand, thinking about how her parents -- Anne and Joachim -- were missing these terrific years of their Grandchild's growth. A sad moment, sure, but imagine the excruciating pain she felt when she considered the reason they were in Egypt in the first place...to escape the fate of all of those babies slaughtered. I couldn't get the vision out of my mind.
Then, the Mass!
And what a joyful celebration it was, at Saint Francis Chapel. The opportunity to kneel at those profound words of the Creed. The Roman Canon. The exquisite prayers. The Eucharist. It was, it remains, a joyful thing to know that Mary said "yes."
Followed by the Rosary
It being Friday, we prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries, which complemented (or so I thought) my earlier meditation on the Seven Sorrows. Only...I wept.
And then, the Stations of the Cross
With, of course, the "Stabat Mater." You know, I think I can sing the entire "Stabat Mater" and cry, even without praying the Stations. In any case, I kept wondering: what did this cost you, Mother, this "yes" of yours?
"Behold the handmaid of the Lord! Be it done to me according to thy word!"
Of course, Mary knew the Lord's Prayer long before Jesus taught it to us -- at least, the gist of it. And, exhausted but somehow exhilarated, I walked home thinking that, while, indeed, her "yes" cost her plenty, her "yes" also glorified this woman: this woman who so eagerly cooperated in our salvation.
"Full of Grace"
The term means "without sin." This Lady, the Immaculate Conception, wasn't just conceived "full of grace"...she remained so, despite, as the world would say, "against all odds."How much did her "yes" cost Mary? An awful lot, while in this vale of tears. But -- rejoice! This woman, assumed into Heaven, body and soul, is now the Queen of All Creation.Which might make you feel pretty good, until you consider this:
She's Your Mother and She Loves You!
Thank you, my most Blessed Mother. Thank you for your "yes."