September is the month of Our Lady of Sorrows, compelling us to remember and reflect
on the many sorrows in the life of Mary mother of Jesus (Luke 2:35, John 19:26-27,
Isiah 53). Throughout sacred scripture we read of many who are sorrowful.
One New Testament biblical figure who experienced great suffering and sorrow was the
woman known as the sick or bleeding woman (Mark 5:24-33, Luke 8:43-48, Matthew
9:20-22). Because of her affliction, she was for 12 years an outcast (Leviticus
15:25-27) held in disdain and forsaken by her own community. In her desolation this
woman chose to seek out Jesus and as He passed by she did the unthinkable for a
woman in her circumstances. She reached out and touched the tassel of His robe (Luke
8:44-45, Numbers 15:38). With great faith and without using words she was asking for
His healing. She was healed, her bleeding finally stops.
The greater miracle that takes place, however, is that of the woman’s spiritual healing
and the receiving of a new spiritual identity. Unwelcomed within her own community
this woman is now elevated and is now welcomed into the Kingdom of God. She was an
unnamed woman in sacred scripture, now she is known as a “Daughter” of God, a
divine significance (Mark 5:34).
We are also women of sorrow, this sorrow echoes very prominently in our monthly
Associate reflections. Nevertheless, what gives us all hope and fuels our faith is that
regardless of the state or changes in our bodies and souls, our ailments, our infirmities,
our losses and the uncertainty of our future – something always remains the same “I
am God’s Daughter”. With every droplet of blood, every painful experience of sorrow, I
remind myself that Jesus has shed blood, and has suffered great sorrow. Jesus is
always with me in my sorrow, He turns to me with compassion and mercy as He did to
the bleeding woman. He lifts me up, He calls me His daughter, He gives me dignity, He
sustains me in my suffering and in my sorrow.
“There are certain hours in the lives of all, set apart by God
for a special union with Himself by suffering of the soul
or body or both”1
“Jesus is our comfort in all our anxieties and sorrows. Are they not
sweet when we feel the gentle hand of Jesus soothing them away from
Sometimes, I don’t need words to reach out to You
As my life blood flows away drop by drop
Drained by life’s problems, tribulations and sorrow
I know You are near, You know your child
The stirring of the air as You approach, draw near me and then pass by
Your breath still warm and gentle upon my shoulder.
Compassionate whispers of Your voice lend me courage
I stretch out my hand
You are there, within my reach
Within my fingers the tassels of Your robe
Become my prayer.
Forward, Commentary, and Prayer by Janeen Kovac
1,2 Mary Potter Congregation of the Little Company of Mary, Calendar 2011