..feast of Our Lady’s Assumption..Mary taken / assumed into heaven body & soul at the end of her earthly life..a dogma defined by Pope Pius XII on 1Nov 1950 ..a divine gift to her as Mother of God free from original sin & personal sin Mary Immaculate..it is understandable that if she was chosen to be the Mother of God, God incarnate in Jesus Christ, she needed to be a sinless vessel, a fully spiritual womb to bring to birth “a man like us in all things but sin”.. ..let us in our sinfulness humanity & weakness ask for Our Lords mercy & forgiveness, & approach the Word made flesh & in word & heart.. “..his mercy reaches from age to age..” ; Lord have mercy “..he has pulled down princes [arrogant] & exalted the lowly [ humble ] ; Christ have mercy “..the hungry he has filled with good things..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..for all Our Lady was recipient of such profound spiritual blessings, as Theotokos Mother of God, she was denied one gift you & I have which she never experienced nor enjoyed..gift of reconciliation..gift of a free will that could & does choose now & again to act or voice inappropriately disappointingly to the extent it is termed sin..an offence against God our neighbour & ourself..a prodigal son or daughter asking for or taking our share of the estate..not necessarily land property or money but our spiritual heritage our faith, walking out & away with the priceless nest egg & its accrued graces, in search of independence self decision self control, & as with first prodigal son, to find ourselves literally find ourselves lost..having squandered all we had..goodness gracefulness sucked out of us leaving us lonely bereft & guilty.. ..& then in a self certificated Gethsemane moment, to come to our senses, the self realisation of all we were we had & we lost..a moment of remorse & the seeding of a decision to make for home..expecting censure criticism deserved chastisement & a custodial sentence..& instead, to meet the Father who has waited hopefully expectantly for months/years, watching road with renewed optimism each morning..watching like eagle hour by hour until dusk, & then going in each evening tired distraught bereft..until the day, maybe today, when he looks yet again & sees seemingly a mirage coming over Yearsley Bank ..his son, it is his son, a view a miracle he had watched for, prayed for, hours on end, day after day, & now my son my daughter..the welcome of a lifetime, no post mortem, no ear for reasons nor excuses, not even one episode of a sad story, only the hug embrace & silent intimacy of return ..you & I know it from experience do we not ?..& is there a better feeling than having got it badly wrong, to come home & to experience raw forgiveness.. ..& Mary never tasted it..are we blessed or are we blessed? now read Marys great hymn of praise Magnificat, & no longer think it is only her voice prayer & emotion, but yours ..read hear from your heart each phrase & recognise your own self, your own real self in it, & let it become, from this day forward, your own hymn of thanksgiving.. ”the Almighty has done great things for me” indeed.. ..read beautiful book “knowing her place..gender & gospels” by Anne Thurston..she talks of this gospel meeting of two women..unlike many pairs of women in scripture they are not rivals..”the Visitation is not primarily a pious text a beautiful tale of two women thanking God for their pregnancies, it is a subversive story of women’s solidarity in their suffering, of women’s power in their prophecy, of women’s recognition of the visitation of God who brings down the powerful & lifts up the lowly; bringing Mary & Elizabeth together connects the old Israel & the new, establishing both continuity & discontinuity. The door of the temple & the mouth of Zechariah are closed up & the wombs of women become the holy places of revelation. The gospel of liberation is sung out from the mouths of women just as at end of gospels the good news of the resurrection is heard from the lips of women, down through the ages picking up the threads of the histories of women who have heard & proclaimed the Word “from generation to generation”. In the end the doors close over once more & the patriarchal framing & naming once again eclipse the stories of the women. Zechariah’s mouth is opened & confirming Elizabeths naming of the child, he pours forth his own canticle of praise. We do not hear form Elizabeth again, & after the birth & presentation of the child Jesus we hear no response from Mary other than that “she pondered these things in her heart” Simeon speaks but the words of the prophet Anna are not directly reported. The women have been silenced. Each time we revisit this text the silence is broken & the voices of Mary & Elizabeth are heard again as women singing out hope.” ..a lovely moment for us to celebrate the voice of women in our Church.. [ Assumption Lk1;39-46 ]