We might find it a bit hard to relate personally to this story, this vision. We might find it easier to relate to Mary going to her cousin Elizabeth to help Elizabeth in her pregnancy, and visiting soul-to-soul, heart-to-heart, with each other while there.
Mary’s prayer, the Magnificat, tells of God’s preferential love for the poor and Mary’s own preferential love for the poor. Perhaps this is where Jesus gets his own mission of preferential love for the poor and outcast of the world, from his mother’s knee.
Mary has appeared throughout history. She came to LaVang in a time of war and turmoil to encourage the people to remain close to God. She came, as an Aztec Indigenous woman, to Juan Diego, a poor indigenous Aztec person, to let people know that indigenous people everywhere deserve respect and dignity. She came to Bernadette Subrio to bring healing to all who were sick, no matter if they were poor or rich. She came to the children of Fatima to let the world know that war will not solve problems, only love, kindness, and service will bring about peace.
Mary seems to choose the least, as does God, to bring messages of love, service and kindness to the world. Hardly ever does she appear to the rich and powerful.
As Mary says in the Magnificat, “God has shown strength and scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, put down the powerful from their thrones, lifted up the lowly, filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.”
As Jeanne Schuler puts it: “God also speaks to the world in words far from neutral or detached. The broken and forgotten are lifted up. Those secure in their own sufficiency are strangely empty. The power that seems ultimate collapses before God’s truth.”
Our church, all of us, and our world, would do well to listen and ponder these words..
As we listen to news of wars in Afghanistan and other parts of the world, of the racism in our own country, of the trouble Congress has of passing bills that will give people living wage jobs, of the climate changing faster than we once thought, of the ongoing pandemic with its variants which are becoming more deadly, of the arguments over wearing or not wearing masks, Mary reminds us that God is with us – always. Mary reminds us we need to listen to God, help each other, become bread broken and shared for each other.
The Church, during these next two weeks, will continue to read from the Gospel of John where Jesus says, “Everyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood will remain in me and I will be in them.” As I pondered Mary’s life I thought that Mary, by giving birth to Jesus, was the first to offer Jesus’ body and blood to the world. Meister Eckhart said, “What use is it to have Jesus born if he is not also born in us.”
This feast of the Assumption reminds us, Mary reminds us, to let Jesus be born in us so the world can continue to evolve to its wholeness, its holiness. We, being part of creation, are also called to continue to grow into the wholeness, and holiness, for which we were created.
Mary shows us the way. We would do well to follow her example and her leadership.
Jeanne Schuler, from an article, TRANSFORMATIONAL in LIVING WITH CHRIST, August 2021 Page 124.