And you thought you had it ruff ?!

Today is the feast day of  the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of  Our Lady of Sorrows.   Typically she is pictured at the foot of the cross pouring out her grief.   Something that is interesting about todays readings they are like book ends.  Jn 19:25-27 or Lk 2:33-35  In these readings are some of the beginnings and ending of the earthly/ spiritual life of Christ.  By this I mean that in the Gospel of Luke we are reading about the Presentation in the Temple ( considered to be one of the first sacramental / spiritual acts for children) and in the Gospel of John we are reading about  the crucifixion of the Lord.   

In both of these cases Mary is tested and given trials to bear.   In the Gospel of Luke she is told that Jesus is destined for the rise and fall of many in Isreal.  But in the same breath, Simeon says to Mary that a sword will pierce her own heart too.   Very distressing words for such a Holy day, a day of celebration.   In John’s Gospel she is faced with watching the horror of her own son’s earthly death.

Interesting too is the fact that in the Gospel of Luke, Mary is presenting Christ to God, and to the world.  But in the Gospel of  John we see Jesus giving his own mother to John to care for.  

Sometimes when Advent comes around or when things are a bit dicey, I look over a Monty Python Sketch I listened to in my younger years, where each of the 4 or 5 men in the skit would tell each other how ruff they had it.  Each one making the story sound like the person who was last to speak had it easy because they had it worse.. and not only that but they would have loved to have the other persons situation.   

I do not believe that I would have liked to engage in such a conversation with Mary and Joseph.  Honestly, these two were of superhuman virtue and strength.  Imagine what it must have been like, knowing that you have a child , that is not really “yours”  by human standards,  try to raise him the best that you can.  Knowing all the while that since you already know who he is, you also already know whats in store for him.  You have to be his cheerleader, his support, his parent.   AND after all that you have to give him up to let him run around the countryside all for the honor of priviledge of watching him die.     Did I mention that in process of raising the child he gets to tell you where you went wrong in your thinking ?      

When you consider how difficult it can be to raise a child in the current times,  I would invite you to take a page from Mary and Joseph, and consider how easy it is that you truly have it, and thank God that you have not been put through their trials !


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