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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Luis

Journeying Together with Mary

Change is the only constant but it is transformation that tells us that we are progressive. The Society of the Catholic Apostolate in India has gone through this transformation time and again. Back then on 6th January 2002, when we celebrated 50 years of the Pallottine Presence in India our mother Province, the Prabhu Prakash Province was transformed into three different and vibrant entities, viz. Prabhu Prakash Province, Khrist Jyoti Region, and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ABVM) Province. After 18 glorious years i.e. on 6th January 2022, the ABVM province was further transformed into two provinces and one region; ABVM Province, Our Lady of Good Health Province (Tamil Nadu), and Gloria Dei Region (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana).

The new development leaves the ABVM Province with 95 priests spread across the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra (except the Vidarbha Region), Gujarat, Goa, and Daman & Diu, and the countries abroad with its headquarters in Bangalore. The province beholds and consecrates itself to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, whose body and soul were assumed to heaven.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was declared the official dogma of the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Pius XII. The complete life of Mary is supposed to be an example of a ‘journey of faith’. This feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary thus reminds us that we ought to make that journey of faith along with Mary to Jesus.

Mary’s encounter with the angel

In Luke 1: 26-28 we read, “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.””
The greeting of angel Gabriel to Mary was significant and of high importance but she hardly understands what the angel tells her. Nevertheless, she keeps her ears and heart open to the working of the Holy Spirit and allows it to mould and lead her. Thus, from there starts a journey of redemption. An encounter that made her the Mother of God. An encounter that would record her definite ‘Yes’ to the Lord and whatever He plans on accomplishing through her.

A Humble Visit

“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-40).” Encountering the Word of God through the angel Gabriel makes Mary journey toward her cousin Elizabeth and spend her time with her. Both women interact with each other and assist each other in this time of joy and happiness. A humble visit from Mary fills Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit and makes the unborn baby in the womb of Elizabeth jump in joy. A visit that was truly inspired by God. A journey that we can make only if we allow the Word of the Lord to inspire and bear fruit in us.

Journey to the Manger

This journey of Mary was with her beloved husband Joseph. A difficult yet beautiful journey for the Lord to be born in a manger. Although met with rejections both Mary and Joseph do not give up and make peace with whatever is available for the Lord to be born.

Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

“When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (Luke 2:22).” We then have two prophecies, one of Simeon and the other of Anna. And interestingly none of the prophecies are understood by Mary, but she ponders them in her heart. This, therefore, leads us to the deepest Kenosis of Faith.

Mary at the Wedding Feast at Cana

When the host had finished the wine they had it was Mary who accompanied them in their anxious moment and requested Jesus to help out. Mary is for certain ready to assist and do whatever possible to change the plan of God so as to save us from our anxious moments.

Deepest Kenosis of Faith

Kenosis means self-emptying. And this is perfectly explained through the life of Mary. Most especially when she spends her time just observing Jesus carrying out His earthly ministry. John 19:25 tells us, “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” At the foot of the cross, she stood, not complacent but truly participating in whatever was being done to Jesus. A total self-emptying with faith and trust in the God who called her for this through the angel Gabriel.

We will never be able to comprehend this total surrender of Mary at the foot of the cross. Perhaps we may term it as the inactivity or passivity of Mary. But she consented to it all as she knew that it was the plan of God. She knew but at the same time, she felt deeply sorrowful. Her journey was undoubtedly a journey of faith that made her persist till Easter when Jesus rose again.

The Assumption of Mary to heaven was a tremendous gift to Her by God for the redemptive sacrifices she made in this journey of faith. As we celebrate this great solemnity we ought to take Mother Mary as an example and ask for her intercession walking alongside her towards Jesus. She will perhaps hold our hands firmly and help us root ourselves. She will make us understand those areas of our lives that we fail to make sense of. She will lead us on this journey of faith. Thus, let us journey together with Mary, our Mother.
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