Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of September 15, 2007
1st Reading: Heb 5:7-9; Psalm 30; Gospel: John 19:25-27
Today in the Church there is a new image of Mary of Sorrows who, according to God's style, is that of simplicity and modesty. It is she who spoke in the letter of God which you heard this evening. The Sorrowful we have before our eyes corresponds, unfortunately, to a traditional iconography, i.e. in mourning, black cloaks, handkerchief in her hand, her face completely overwhelmed and engrossed in pain and suffering with the famous classic seven swords piercing Mary's motherly heart. It is not the first time that Our Lady speaks of the pain she experienced next to her Son. This also will be written In the follow up of the story of Our Lady's life: she was close to her Son in the last days of His life in an intense and special way and when this was not materially possible, when Jesus was at the Sanhedrin or by the Praetorians to be submitted to the second questioning or torture, places where she surely could not have had access, she was equally present in bilocation, near Him. She lived every moment of her Son's passion and under the Cross she collected in her heart His last moments, as the Gospel is reporting for our comfort. In a message Our Lady told us that on the way to Golgotha she went out to meet those who sincerely mourned for the terrible pain and suffering of her Son, and she was the one to encourage them, almost with a shy smile and with a strong example: "I am the Mother and serenely accept this pain, you too accept it with equal serenity".
The term Sorrowful does not allow us to fully understand Mary's feeling in those moments but now it is she who is helping us to understand it better by defining herself as Sorrowful and Joyful. She had, within her, an inner and spiritual joy stemming from the awareness that redemption would come from the death of her Son and the Heaven would open again. During the long, silent years she spent with Jesus in Nazareth, many times Jesus spoke to His Mother of this event that would have changed the world history. Mary was ready to live it in the best way, according to her quiet, discreet and reserved style, but surely what was going to happen was previously the subject of conversation between Son and Mother. The Son knew everything as He was God, her Mother knew everything because her Son, true God and true Man, had given her particulars and details of how His passion would start and finish. Mary got ready for this event and she was the only creature that in her heart, in addition to the grip of pain, felt alive and throbbing the certainty of Resurrection. We know, through the Gospel, how our Lord repeatedly spoke to the apostles of how He was going to be led to death and then would rise again, but none of them remembered. Only Mary had this certainty very clear and this helped her to move forward in the most dramatic moment of her life. She saw her Son covered with blood, but she also saw, as in a movie, the event that would unfold, namely the resurrection, an involving, capturing and inspiring reality. This is why we must think to Our Lady as sorrowful and suffering, but at the same time serene, calm and confident; all this can coexist in Mary's heart, because it is a vast and huge heart, second only to that of God.
Every mom, and I appeal to those among you, if you were to attend a painful event that affects your child, you would only feel pain and suffering, Mary, however, has a heart full with the love of God and therefore, while living in complete and total suffering, at the same time she manages to feel calm and, dare I say, joyful, because when her Son dies all other children are reborn and resurrected. In the will of God the spiritual resurrection of men had to be caused by the death of the Son, and the one who made the rule and tenet of her own life the obedience and docility to the will of God, was able to accept, suffering and living, the very opposite feeling of pain, which is joy. This is how Mary under the cross should be considered and how she should be seen while accompanying her Son to Golgotha. The image we have to have of Mary is one of a strong, courageous, open to joy and suffering mother, but she was seen as such by her Son only, not by the people who were scourging and crowning Him with thorns.
There is another great and wonderful truth I have sometimes talked about and that I wish she would have talked about: beside the King there is the Queen, with the Lord there is Our Lady, next to the Redeemer there must be the Co-Redeemer. God did not need Mary's huge merits to accomplish His plan of redemption, but He loves and respects the man so much that He wanted, although not necessary, that to His infinite merits were added Mary's immeasurable merits. He can do what he wants: "I am the Eucharist, you are the Mother of the Eucharist, I am the Redeemer, you are the Co-Redeemer"; no man can tell God what He can or cannot do, but we reached such a low point to dare teach God His job. Mary Co-Redeemer must be a truth that must come into the wealth of faith of the whole Church and I hope this dogma will soon start to be recognized. I hope it will be a Pope in love with the Eucharist and with the Mother of the Eucharist who will place this last gem on Our lady's head. We know she does not like crowns, but if God wants this crown of glory, which is the most intimate, alive and rich manifestation of the passion of His Son, then it should be realized. In this H. Mass this very intention will take precedence: may God enlighten the men of the Church, the true, wise and honest shepherds, so they may work to get to this definition and at that point we will then bow before the one we call Mom and thank her who, by the will of God, shared the sufferings of Christ.
She was the first person experiencing the Passion pains and sufferings, suffered the same excruciating pain of the crown of thorns, hands and feet pierced by nails in her own immaculate hands and in her feet. As the side of her Son was pierced, so was the Mother's and the Roman scourge that befell the innocent par excellence, Jesus, also befell on her who is immaculate and never knew the smallest imperfection. Jesus suffered and Mary suffered, Jesus is the Redeemer and Mary is Co-Redeemer. This is something that we must begin to feel as possible, as something today God is revealing to us and you know that when He communicates His will in this place, is able to impose it on the whole world and the whole Church. As He imposed and realized the triumph of the Eucharist and the triumph of the Mother of the Eucharist, so He will succeed to impose the triumph of the Church and those who truly love her and will also impose this last Mary's triumph. Let us remind what Jesus said yesterday, the cross in Heaven, a mystical truth we did not know and under that cross, standing out in Heaven, we should see, right now with the soul eyes and in the future with physical eyes, Our Lady standing on the Golgotha collecting the last drops of blood and the last words of her Son. We will say "Mary, Mother of the Eucharist" and sing "Pray with us" and that "With us" will be uttered and sang with much exuberance and enthusiasm because only then we will realize how she was truly at the side of each of us. Praised be Jesus Christ.