Engaging Faith | Fri, Aug 9, 2013
Lectionary Reflections for Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 2013
Feast of the Assumption of Mary
August 15, 2013
Revelations 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
1 Corinthians 15:20-27
“Taken up into heaven, Mary shows us the way to God, the way to heaven, the way to life. She shows it to her children baptized in Christ and to all people of good will. She opens this way especially to the little ones and to the poor, those who are dear to divine mercy. The Queen of the world reveals to individuals and to nations the power of the love of God whose plan upsets that of the proud, pulls down the mighty from their thrones and exalts the humble, fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich empty away (cf. Lk 1:51-53).”
Pope John Paul II, August 15, 1999
“Women’s relational way of being in the world typically creates in them a deep vulnerability to being rendered desolate when suffering visits those whom they love and care about.… With dry eyes or wet, women do more than a fair share of the crying of the world.… Weeping women, women whose hearts moan like a flute because those they love have come to harm, are everywhere in the world. As imago Dei they point to the mystery of divine sorrow, of an unimaginable compassionate God who suffers with beloved creation.
Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, She Who Is, 259-260
“This is the mystery of our Church, that all men and women are brothers and sisters, all one in Christ, all bear the image of the Eternal God.”
“Brothers and Sisters to Us,” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1979
“… millions of men and women are forced to leave their homes or their native lands because of violence or in order to seek more dignified living conditions. It is an illusion to think that migration can be blocked or checked simply by force. Migration and the problems to which it gives rise must be addressed humanely, with justice and compassion.”
Pope Benedict XVI, January 8, 2007
“Bringing the Gospel is bringing God’s power to pluck up and break down evil and violence, to destroy and overthrow the barriers of selfishness, intolerance and hatred, so as to build a new world.”
Pope Francis, July 28, 2013
“Sin and death have been defeated. Christians cannot be pessimists!”
Pope Francis, July 24, 2013
Thoughts for your consideration
What happens to Mary of Nazareth is a sign of what God wants to give to all of us.
We too are called to join in her hymn of praise for the blessings of God.
We too are part of the struggle that is imagined in the Book of Revelation and we too are part of the victory over the “dragon.”
We too share in the “salvation and power.”
We too share in the fruits, of which Christ is the first.
We too are destined to enter into eternal life.
We rejoice with Elizabeth and Mary in the coming of new life and we work today to promote life.
With Elizabeth and Mary we proclaim the greatness of a God who is concerned for the poor, who lifts up the lowly, who fills up the hungry, who is filled with mercy and compassion.
With Mary and Elizabeth, we may also actually share in the reality of poverty, structural injustice, and even violence. In any case, we are certainly called be in solidarity with those who are poor and experience injustice and violence.
We live with a great faith that the true victory will be found in the values of our God who “has mercy” and “has lifted up the lowly” and “has filled the hungry with good things.”
The “Magnificat” gives voice to the values of Catholic Social Teaching.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
What is your favorite image of Mary, the Mother of Jesus? Why?
How is this image connected with the values of Mary expressed in her Magnificat?
Actions - Links
Speak Out for Female Farmers
Join Women Thrive Worldwide and speak up. Women around the world play an important role in food production. Under President Obama’s new budget proposal, more local women around the world will be able to access resources directly to help their neighbors, empowering women and girls and building more sustainable local food economies. But the President’s proposal to reform food aid is under fire from U.S. agribusiness interests, international shippers and others. The White House needs to hear from people who believe in eliminating waste in our food aid and helping to empower women worldwide.
Prayers of Intercession
Response: God of Mary, hear our prayers.
God, with Mary, help us to enter into your spirit of generosity and mercy.
God, help us to defeat the “dragons” of injustice and violence and so create a world of peace.
God, help us to rejoice in your gifts and share those gifts with others.
God, help us to live in solidarity with those who are in any way poor or in need.
God, help us to respect the diversity of people around us and share hospitality.
God, help us to respect the planet on which we live and work to care for the environment.
God, help us to find our value in your gifts and not our power over others.
God, teach us how to work for peace in our divided, often violent, world.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths toward the future.
From famine and war, deliver us.
From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.
From sins against human life from its very beginning, deliver us.
From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.
From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.
From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.
From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us. From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.
From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us.
Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole societies.
Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit conquer all sin: individual sin and the “sin of the world,” sin in all its manifestations.
Let there be revealed once more in the history of the world the infinite saving power of the redemption: the power of merciful love.
May it put a stop to evil. May it transform consciences.
May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of hope. Amen.
Pope John Paul II
I thank You for this day of life
for eyes to see the sky
for ears to hear the birds
for feet to walk amidst the trees
for hands to pick the flowers from the earth
for a sense of smell to breathe in the sweet perfumes of nature
for a mind to think about and appreciate the magic of everyday miracles
for a spirit to swell in joy at Your mighty presence everywhere.
Marian Wright Edelman
Founder of the Children's Defense Fund
Author of The Measure Of Our Success
Copyright © 2013, Center of Concern