I suspect every one of us can admit to having been afraid.
Sometimes our fear is rooted in clear and present dangers – floodwaters rising, an out-of-control car heading toward us, signs of a COVID infection, etc.
At other times we fear an unknown future. What is happening to our country and our world? We face levels of polarization few of us can relate to, even if there are historical examples of much worse. We face once unthinkable questions about our ability to sustain life on Earth as we know it.
At yet other times, we simply ponder things in our hearts…questions. Questions such as is this the right thing for me to do now.
All through history, people have faced various levels of fear about the future.
Mary may have been the Mother of God, but I doubt she did not know fear. There are so many questions I would like to ask Mary about her fears.
Mary, did you know
- you would have to run for your life to Egypt to escape the infanticide of a murderous ruler
- how and when your heart would be pierced,
- that you would panic when you thought you had lost Jesus in the crowd,
- how much it would hurt as you walked with Jesus to Calvary,
- that one day you would watch your son’s execution,
- you would hold his lifeless body in your arms?
I doubt she knew any of that was coming!
But the big question I have is, what kept her going in the midst of those experiences?
How Mary coped
I can only offer that whatever name we give it, it is the same that allowed her to say that first yes to the angel… Be it done unto me according to your word. She trusted in God.
Viewed in the light of these questions, the feast of the Assumption holds great hope for us. With her Assumption into heaven, she finally understood how everything made sense.
Who among us does not have things that we can not make sense of today?
Among the lessons of this feast is that all the things we cannot understand now will one day be clear to us.
Mary teaches us to trust that one day we will all understand the things that we cannot understand, including the things we rail against.
She inspires hope that one day we, too, will understand,
Blessed is she who believed
Pope Francis puts it well…
Mary is the model of virtue and of faith. Today, in contemplating her Assumption into Heaven, the final fulfillment of her earthly journey, we thank her because she always precedes us in the pilgrimage of life and faith.
She is the First Disciple. And we ask her to keep us and support us; that we may have a strong, joyful and merciful faith; that she may help us to be saints, to meet with her, one day, in Heaven. .
In that same message, Pope Francis encourages us…
Dear brothers and sisters, to Mary Queen of Peace, whom we contemplate today in the glory of Heaven, I once again wish to entrust the anxieties and pain of the populations that in many parts of the world are suffering due to natural disasters, social tensions or conflicts.
May our Heavenly Mother obtain consolation and a future of serenity and concord for all! We ask her to keep us and support us; so that we may have a strong, joyous and merciful faith,” he said. “May she help us to be holy, so that we might meet with her, one day, in Heaven.”
“Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your assistance, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.” Memorare
Let us ask Mary to walk with us.
Click below for an early audio version of this Vincentian Mindwalk.