Mary is as a witness of the Divine Mercy – Saint Gregory the Great Homily 25
Yet in the pain of this encounter, when the impurity and sickness of our lives becomes evident to us, there lies salvation. His gaze, the touch of his heart heals us through an undeniably painful transformation “as through fire” [I Corinthians 3:15].
Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604), Pope, Doctor of the Church
Homily 25; PL 76, 1188 (©Cistercian publications)
“Woman, why are you weeping?”
Mary is as a witness of the divine mercy; yes, this very Mary of whom the Pharisee, who wanted to stifle the spring of her devotion, said: «If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of a woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner,» (Lk 7,39). But she had abandoned her wicked ways, and she washed away the stains of heart and body with her tears, and touched the feet of her Redeemer. She sat at the feet of Jesus, and listened to the words of his mouth (Lk 10,39). She had clung to him when he was alive, and she sought him when he was dead. She found alive the one she had sought when he was dead; and she found such a position of grace with him that it was she who brought the message to his apostles, who were themselves his messengers.
What ought we to see in this,my friends, except the boundless mercy of our Creator. He has put before us, as if for signs and examples of repentance, those he brought to life through repentance after a fall. I look at Peter, at the thief, at Zaccheus, at Mary and I see in them nothing else but examples put before our eyes of hope and repentance. Perhaps someone has fallen away from the faith: let him look on Peter, who wept bitterly for his fainthearted denial. Perhaps someone else has been enflamed with malice and cruelty against his neighbor: let him look on the thief, who even at the moment of death attained the reward of life by repenting. Perhaps another, enflamed by avarice, has plundered a stranger’s goods: let him look at Zaccheus, who if he had stolen anything from anyone restored it fourfold. Perhaps another yet, being enkindled with the fire of lust, has lost the purity of his body: let him look on Mary, who purged away the love of her body by the fire of divine love.See how almighty God puts before our eyes at every turn those whom we ought to imitate; he provides at every turn examples of his mercy. Let us find evils distasteful, even if we have experienced them. Almighty God freely forgets that we have been guilty; he is ready to count our repentance as innocence. If we have become dirtied after the water of salvation, let us be born again from our tears… Our Redeemer will solace our fleeting sorrows with eternal joy.