It is many years since I, and hundreds of boys, celebrated this Feast at Assumption College Kilmore. In my time, the feast was always preceded by a retreat…and followed, for us coming from a 1950’s form of lockdown, a day off. We often were bussed into Melbourne; Kilmore could not have coped with 300 plus students roaming the then Hume Highway Main Street for eight hours. The city was ours for the day and ended with the obligatory three cheers for the old boys as we passed Pentridge Jail on the way home! Such were the innocent days when the same school sent many of its students off to the seminary and to the noviciate each year. I am not sure what we really learnt about this feast except that “Mary was taken up to heaven body and soul”. On the surface we all believed, got on with our lives and, in the winter cold, looked forward to the next football match!
The role of Mary in our long 2000 years of history is mixed and wonderful. The people seemed to recognise the important role of this young lady long before the theologians and scholars started to dissect the evidence, and we don’t have all that evidence to dissect.
She said “YES”.
She was a loving Mother
She raised her special child with what emotions we can only really guess at.
Even at the foot of the cross she does not speak, nor is she quoted as commenting upon the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Despite this, our Tradition loves her, prays to her, seeks her intercession, and rejoices to tell anyone that listens, that she is our Mother.
This year, amidst the turmoil of flood and fires in the north, wars and power struggles in Afghanistan and Myanmar, lockdowns and restrictions on our freedoms, maybe it is a timely moment to remember her words…
“…his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.”
Further, quietly, but also publicly, to petition for that mercy to be poured out on our troubled world, our troubled families, and our troubled Church, according to “the promise made to our ancestors”.
That mercy has flowed freely in the past; why not now!