15 August 2016 : the Assumption with the Little Sisters
“When Mary our Mother was with child by the Spirit her body became the first altar of the Eucharist and she made haste to go to meet Elisabeth.” (Cardinal Bro 24/01/2016)
At the approach of the feast of the Assumption, we would like to prolong the invitation of the 2016 Easter Message to welcome the Mystery of the Eucharist by looking again at some Church texts that help us to contemplate Mary, the Eucharistic woman. Let us be renewed, through her, in the love of Christ.
We borrow from Saint John Paul II this original expression “Eucharistic woman”, in the encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia. (At the school of Mary, the Eucharistic women, chapter six):
“The relation between Mary and the Eucharist can be seized indirectly from her inner attitude. Mary, through her whole life, is a ‘Eucharistic woman’. The Church, looking at Mary as its model, is called to imitate her also in her relation with this most Holy Mystery.
If the Eucharist is a mystery of faith that surpasses our intelligence to the point of obliging us to abandon ourselves utterly to the word of God, nobody other than Mary can be a support and guide to us in such an undertaking. When we repeat the action of Christ at the Last Supper in obedience to his commandment: “Do this in memory of me!” (Lk 22:19), we receive also at the same time the invitation of Mary to obey Him unhesitatingly: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). Mary, with the maternal concern she showed at the wedding in Cana, seems to say to us: “Don’t hesitate in the least, trust my Son’s words. He, who was able to change water into wine, is also able to change bread and wine into his body and his blood, transmitting to believers, in this mystery, the living memory of his Passover, so as to become in that way “Bread of Life”. …
“Blessed is she who believed…” (Lk 1:45): in the mystery of the Incarnation Mary also anticipated the Eucharistic faith of the Church. When, on the occasion of the Visitation she carried within her the Word made flesh, she became in a way a “tabernacle” – the first “tabernacle” of history – in which the Son of God, as yet invisible to human eyes, presented Himself for the adoration of Elisabeth, almost “radiating” his light through the eyes and the voice of Mary…”
Let us listen also to Pope Benedict XVI in the post-synodal exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, 2007:
“Mary of Nazareth appears as the person whose freedom is totally available to the will of God… The virgin who listens… who retains in her heart the words that come to her from God and, arranging them like a mosaic, prepares herself to understand them more profoundly (Lk 2:19-51). Mary is the great Believer who, filled with trust, placed herself in the hands of God, abandoning herself to His will.”
From the Annunciation to the Cross, Mary is the one who welcomes the Word made flesh in her and who remains silent up to death. It is she, finally, who receives in her arms the body offered up, now inanimate, of the One who truly loved his own "to the end" (Jn 13:1).
“That is why, each time in the liturgy that we approach the Body and Blood of Christ, we also turn towards the one who received the sacrifice of Christ for the whole Church by associating herself fully with it… She is the Immaculate one who unconditionally welcomed the gift of God and in that way she is associated with the work of salvation. Mary of Nazareth, icon of the Church coming into being, shows us that each of us is called to receive the gift of himself that Jesus makes to us in the Eucharist.
In conclusion, let us recall the words of our Founder:
(Mary) “She always corresponded with the graces received from God.” (16 August 1894).
“She is of God, in God and for God.” (9 September 1896)
“Remember that the Most Holy Virgin is, in her Visitation, the model that you must copy; remember also that you must be ready to bear all kinds of fatigue in order to care for the sick and, above all, bring them Our Lord, who is the only one who converts hearts and makes saints. 2 July 1891
Gathered as a Congregation for this feast of the Assumption, we ask Mary to accompany us and to be, like her, centred on God so as to respond to His calls today.
May this time of preparation for the General Chapter through the reflection and review being proposed during these months, place us in this disposition so as to be, each one and all together, open “to the surprises of God”.
Wishing each one a happy feast,
With our sisterly affection,
Marie-Françoise, Piedad, Geneviève, Mary, Eugenia