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The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Ordinary time, Year B, 15/8/2021 Luke 1, 39-56

Our understanding of Mary, the mother of Jesus and Mother of God, will be affected by the experience we have had of our own mothers. We are aware of the challenges and difficulties that Mary faced first with becoming pregnant through the Holy Spirit, the birth in an outhouse away from family and friends and exile in Egypt. Many refugees today give birth fleeing from their own countries. Their children will grow up in a foreign land and in a different culture to their parents. However, we can assume that raising Jesus would have been far easier than that of mothers raising their children today?

Mary deserves the greatest of honour and reverence we have to give, but how can she be our mother, which she is at Jesus’ request, if we place her on too high a pedestal that she is out of our reach. Mary’s role in our salvation is unique but we are each given a unique role in salvation, a role that no one else but you can fulfil.

A memory of my mother which stands out is that she was always there when we came home; always ready to care and nurture her children no matter what; we were all very different. She offered comfort support and reassurance. She was a symbol of security, a solid base, a nurturer of the faith and a living example of a deep, deep love. I think of Mary, the mother of Jesus and our mother, in the same way. She is someone real who puts her arm around my shoulder to comfort, strengthen, encourage, motivate but always there, always close whenever I turn to her, which is often.

Among Assumptionists, Mary is a model, a guide, who challenges and motivates us to emulate her in fulfilling our unique role in the work of salvation.

Another special gift of my mother was always knowing what I needed without ever being asked. She provided healing, encouragement, support and, yes, correction, always at the right time. Too often we use an excess of words in our prayers as if God does not really know our needs, which in some circles would be considered an insult, but God just sees our long prayers as one of our many failings, and God smiles. Mary is the same. Just put yourself in the presence of Mary and very soon you will discover that she gently and reassuringly brings you to her son, to Jesus.

Our Lady's Assumption (Carolyn Ruth Doran.)

More beautiful than the harvest, swaying from sea to sea, yielding sweet abundance to starved humanity; glamorous ministration, Virtue's song of rest, healing ineffable to humankind's baffling quest: angels gather round thee, whom sin did ne'er befall, unseen their silent winging, unheard their heavenly call. Lo, thou who once ascended Magnificats of prayer, art borne, a vista'd glory, refulgent everywhere! Lily of Predilection, Breath of true Womanhood, help us, through all sadness, to hold to what is good, - until, assumed into heaven, with thee and thy Son adored, we, too may feel the rapture......that is Christ the Lord!

by Fr Thomas O'BRIEN a.a


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