August 15th, 2013 : Feast of the Assumption


"My soul glorifies the Lord, 
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour! 
He looks on his servant in her lowliness; 
henceforth all ages will call me blessed. 
The Almighty works marvels for me….
He casts the mighty from their thrones,
and raises the lowly. 
He fills the starving with good things…" 
Mary exults with joy! 
Here we can see the living faith of Mary who is impregnated with the life of her people, of her own family, imbued with the Torah. It is there that history and the "Word" are interlinked and give life. It is there that "Salvation History is one with our own history and its horizon is the glory of God." RL 30 
It is a history of liberation. It is the constantly renewed crossing of the Red Sea when Miriam’s song of freedom rings out like that of the "Exultet" sung by the Church on the night of the Resurrection. And yet, all this takes place humbly, in the course of an ordinary life. Mary, who received the visit of the angel and listened attentively to God became, in her turn, a "visitor" and recalled the power of her Lord. 
Mary started from almost nothing, just a word. Mary listened to the words of God coming through the voice of the angel, through the voice of Joseph and through that of Elisabeth. 
Mary’s hope was that God would restore dignity to the poor, to those who were excluded. This conviction was such that the two children in their mothers’ womb jumped for joy. They too confirmed that the seed of the promise of God was there, very alive, growing, and that it was for the whole people. 
Mary, through her attentive listening, became willing, available. She would not be held back, she would go as far as the cross where she would listen more to words spoken by her Son: "Woman, behold your son". Receiving John, she would give birth once again, to the Church. 
Through the power of the Spirit, life will come in abundance from the soil of weakness. From the experience of waiting and of hope, Mary took the step of faith. She brought the hope of Israel to its peak. She recapitulates the experience that every living being is called to have. 
We too, are we not offered this full and complete vocation? 
Throughout the past months, through reading the syntheses, the reports of the various animation teams, the councils of the Provinces/Regions, and in examining again the consultations and our recent work in the Chapter, we are witnesses that all these words of life trace out our history where, under the surface, fragility, hope and faith are intertwined. What realism, what a number of consents, of "births" and of "resurrections", of encounters with God! For, our God/Saviour lets Himself be encountered there, in the depths of our adjustments, of our lives that are bared and vulnerable, in the depths of our truth. Thus, stronger than ourselves – "It is in weakness that I am strong" – the life of faith springs forth, stronger than ourselves, stronger than hope. 
"He puts forth his arm in strength, and raises the lowly."
Do we have anything else to share? Have we anything to say other than the experience of our personal and collective salvation? 
Pope Francis says to us: "We are weak, but we must be courageous in our weakness." And during the gathering in Rome of novices and seminarians he added, departing from his text: "A novice, or a seminarian must have a joyful face, not a sad one." 
Yes, joyful in the faith. For, our world is under-going so many trials, sufferings, wars and injustices that we cannot live in a naive, unfounded joy that would be an insult to the suffering of the world. Nevertheless, in these times that are ours we must encourage one another to live of the hope of God. 
While the new structures are being set up and we are asked to be active in the closest way to the places where we live, we do not know the exact outline of this change. However, in looking at Mary, we can see that from the Annunciation to the Cross she was able to "give birth", drawing strength from her faith in the One who has done, is doing and will do marvels, the One who frees the poor. 
So, let us turn to her as Etienne Pernet did so often in the Church of Our Lady of Victories. 
On the 13 November 1881 he said that "the title ’Our Lady of Salvation’ is the consequence of the title ’Our Lady of Victories’ because it is in triumphing with her Son that Mary brings us salvation. With Him she continues the work of the Saviour." 
Let us pray to Mary in a simple way: 
‘We come to you Mary, with deep gratitude and complete trust. 
We thank you for all the graces received this year. 
Once more we confide our apostolic life to you. 
Teach us to serve Christ and to participate in his mission of Salvation. 
We promise you fidelity to the Church and to the demands of our vocation. 
Our Lady of the Assumption, lead the Congregation according to the plan of God.’ 
(Prayer for the Pact) 
Let us be women of faith for one another and for the world. 
Wishing you a Beautiful Mission, a Beautiful Feast of the Assumption.
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