The Instinct of Love
Recently I attended the memorial service of a wonderful man. During the service, it was said that he wasn’t a religious man, implying that he didn’t know what came after death. His loving grandchildren did. Five of the seven wrote poems in which they expressed their love and their belief that his love would continue to be with them and guide them through their lives. How could it not? He had loved them so much, so deeply. Their instinct was right – they had known him in love and his love would go on. It was the greatest reality that they knew about him.
This week we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. The feast concerns another death, that of Mary, but also of the belief that after her death she was taken to heaven, body, soul and spirit to be with her son Jesus, to whom she had been so close here on earth. There is no direct Scriptural basis for this belief – but it has been an instinct of believers in the Church since its earliest times. Our belief holds that she, who was mother to Jesus, who shared his joys and sorrows so closely in his life, now shares his glory. She is a sign of the hope to us who hope to enter into the fullness of love and life with God. Do we really understand what this means? No, but like the grandchildren of the friend who died, we have an instinct that tells us that the love we have known will go on…and that God intends to cover us in glory, as he did Mary.
Loving Father, you have given us Mary as a sign of hope to us when we are fearful about what happens after death. In her, we see the fullness of life and love that you wish for all of us. Help us to trust in the glory that is to come. We ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb
Mary, mother of Jesus and our mother.
This Wednesday our church celebrates Mary the mother of Jesus in the Feast of the Assumption. Strange name that but it not about making an assumption in a situation we don’t understand. Though it could look like that at first. In Old English ‘assume’ could mean being taken into so on this feast, we celebrate Mary being taken into to be with Jesus. There, with him, she cares for us. She knows how to truly care for us for in so many ways she faced and lived gracefully so many of the challenges of human life.
A quick glance at her life shows us that she gave birth to her son in poverty – many have done that. She fled as a refugee – many have done that. She lived in a village with petty gossip – many have done that. She wondered what her son was doing with his life – many have done that. She watched him die a horrible death – many have done that. Through all the events of her life, both good and bad, she believed that God’s love was at work. She lived by faith, as we are called to do. Whatever challenges and sufferings came her way, even if she didn’t understand, she believed that God’s love could bring goodness and holiness out of the situation.
Because she was faithful to God in all these situations, we feel that she understands the difficulties of our lives and that she cares for us as she cared for her son, Jesus. In her all-embracing motherly love, we can see the love of God for us. Not only is she a model of faith, she comes close to us and shepherds us with the love of God.
Loving God, we praise and thank you for giving us such a model of faith in Mary, the mother of Jesus. As Mary was guided by your Spirit may she in turn give us your wisdom and love, especially in the dark days of suffering and confusion. We ask this in Jesus name, confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb