August 15, 2021
by Vivian Amu
St. John's Parish
click here for photo and information about the writer

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Mass during the Day
Lectionary: 622

Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
Psalm 45:10, 11, 12, 16
1 Corinthians 15:20-27
Luke 1:39-56

Praying Ordinary Time

Contemplating the Assumption of Mary

An Invitation to Make the Online Retreat

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Pope Francis on the Assumption, in 2013

Francis at Angulus on the Assumption 2017

I am not always completely honest when people ask me if I need anything, or if I am okay.  I would usually say I am fine so those who ask can be freed from the responsibility of worrying about me.  I would usually say I don't need anything, so people around me don't feel the need to give.  In between all my words and my "feels,” as they say, I really want to be in the presence of those whom I love and those who love me.  It is a blessing when those are the same people in one's life ---- those we love and those who love us ---- because when this is so, their presence or visit makes our heart leap with joy and fullness.  The fullness one feels from being cared for, loved, missed, thought of, and remembered.  The joy one experiences when the presence of the Holy Spirit rises to the surface when love comes into our home.

I can understand the feeling Elizabeth had when Mary came to visit.  It wasn't just that Elizabeth knew and understood Mary's role in our salvation.  It was the joy of someone whom she admired and loved visiting her and sharing in the experience of pregnancy ---- a full participation in co-creation, and the perpetual birthing of God’s love.  Sometimes, it just takes a visit from an old friend, or a new friend, or family to make our life path less difficult and even more hopeful.  Sometimes it takes a visit and companionship of someone filled with light to remind us of the presence of the Holy Spirit around us and within us.  Is there someone who might need the assurance of our visit?  Is there someone going through a transition in life who might need our friendship and our love as they take on new roles?  Is there someone afraid of the possibility of dying alone, even with the promise of new life?    

As I reflect upon the assumption of the Blessed Mother, I think about how often I have found myself seeking her intercession and asking her to stay close by.  I find great comfort when Blessed Mother Mary sits with me for a while and keeps me company, especially when I have nothing else to say and no more tears to cry.  When my day is challenging and long, in prayer, I rest my head on her lap, and she simply whispers, “Rest… awhile.” 

Considering my temptation to have a list of requests when I come to God in prayer, it is nice to rest quietly on the lap of the Blessed Mother while God works on what troubles me, and either lightens my burdens or strengthens my spirit.  I, like Elizabeth, feel a leap of joy within me when Mary spends time with me.  Today, let us take off our heavy shoes of worry, set down our heavy bag of self-doubt, past trauma, and the heartbreak we sometimes carry around with us.  Let us put aside our list of many needs, wants, and desires, and just for a moment, ask the Blessed Mother if we can just lay our head on her lap to rest awhile as we entrust our life path to God.

Blessed Mother, keep us company in this life and help us rest when it is time for us to rise into new life. 
Blessed Mother Mary, pray for us.

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