Body and soul. Haste and humility.
On the Solemnity of The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary we acknowledge that Mary was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory at the end of her life.
The theme of the recently concluded World Youth Day is taken from today’s Gospel from Luke (1:39-56): Mary arose and went with haste. With the fullness of her now pregnant body, Mary travels “to the hill country in haste” to visit Elizabeth, her elderly cousin who is also pregnant. There is a sense of urgency and purpose in Mary’s actions. This is not to be confused with the hastiness of rushed judgment or lack of care or attention. Mary’s body, literally bearing the son of God, is now propelled on a journey to share the good news.
Mary travels with haste, rooted in humility. She recognizes that her fiat, her yes to the message from the angel, reflects God’s love within. In the depth of her soul she knows and sings of the goodness of God, not only for herself but for a just and right ordering of humanity. Her body’s movements are guided by the Spirit of God.
Today’s feast aptly celebrates Mary, body and soul. A reflection from the Congregation of the Holy Spirit notes, “When one member of the Christian community is blessed, the entire community is blessed. It is fitting, then, that Mary, the mother of Jesus should be the first to receive the promise and the blessing of being taken up to heaven and is celebrated for her unique role as a true disciple of Jesus.”
In what ways can I prioritize acting with haste – focused and purposeful movement in service of the Gospel? Do I desire to ask God to transform my hurrying and scurrying into a version of Mary’s traveling with haste?
From Pope Francis’s 2021 message on the Solemnity:
How am I doing with humility? Do I seek to be recognized by others, to affirm myself and to be praised, or do I think rather about serving? Do I know how to listen, like Mary, or do I want only to speak and receive attention? Do I know how to keep silence, like Mary, or am I always chattering? Do I know how to take a step back, defuse quarrels and arguments, or do I always want to stand out?
~ Paula Fitzgerald, Director of Mission and Ministry