Pope on Assumption: Mary takes us by the hand, inviting us to rejoice
During Angelus address on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis reminds faithful that the Blessed Mother takes each of us by the hand, and invites us to rejoice as we follow her trusting, faithful and 'radical' example.
Mary, our Mother, takes us by the hand, accompanies us, and invites us to rejoice. Pope Francis gave this reassurance during his Angelus address on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Monday.
As the Church observes the Solemnity on 15 August, the Holy Father remembered that today's Gospel offers us the dialogue between her and her cousin Elizabeth, telling the faithful to recognize Mary's active role and presence in every moment of their lives.
In a special way, he encouraged us to learn from her example, and ask ourselves if we are capable of seeing God's closeness and letting it empower us.
“Am I able to discern the work of God who, through gentleness and smallness, achieves great things?”
On this Solemnity, the Pope encouraged, "Mary sings of hope and rekindles hope in us."
Mary holding our hand, inviting us to rejoice
Reflecting on Our Lady, the Holy Father reminded, "She is the first creature who, with her whole self, body and soul, victoriously crosses the finish line of Heaven."
“She shows us that Heaven is within reach, if we too do not give in to sin, if we praise God in humility and serve others generously. She, our Mother, takes us by the hand, she accompanies us to glory, she invites us to rejoice as we think of heaven.”
The power of reciting the beautiful, familiar 'Hail Mary'
The Pope recalled that when Mary enters the house and greets her cousin, Elizabeth says: 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb,' and how these words "full of faith, joy and wonder" have become part of the “Hail Mary.”
“Every time we recite this prayer, so beautiful and familiar, we do as Elizabeth did: we greet Mary and we bless her, because she brings Jesus to us.”
Mary, he said, not only accepts Elizabeth’s blessing and replies by giving us the Magnificat, she goes further, contemplating the work of God throughout history, highlighting that the Lord 'has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.'
As we listen to these words, the Pope said, we might ask ourselves: "is the Virgin not exaggerating, describing a world that does not exist," where "the poor and hungry remain so, while the rich continue to prosper."
Our Lady announces a radical change
Mary’s canticle, Pope Francis stressed, is not intended to chronicle time, but to tell us something "much more important," namely "that God, through her, has inaugurated a historical turning point, he has definitively established a new order of things."
“She, small and humble, has been raised up and – we celebrate this today – brought to the glory of Heaven, while the powerful of the world are destined to remain empty-handed. Our Lady, in other words, announces a radical change, an overturning of values.”
Mary, he said, 'prophesies,' in anticipating what her Son will say, inasmuch as He will proclaim blessed the poor and humble, and warn the rich and those who base themselves on their own self-sufficiency. He points out that she already understood that it will not be power, success and money that will prevail, but service, humility and love.
Mary's prophetic voice reveals road to Heaven
"Looking at her, in glory, we understand that the true power is service, and that to reign, means to love."
This, he said, is "the road to Heaven."
“So, we might wonder: will this prophetic reversal announced by Mary affect my life? Do I believe that to love is to reign, and to serve is power? That the purpose of my life is Heaven, paradise? Or am I concerned only with worldly, material things?”
Warning against becoming "entrapped by pessimism" and calling on us to trust in God, the Pope concluded, praying: "Let us bless Mary with our prayer, and let us ask her for a prophetic view, capable of glimpsing Heaven on earth."
Deborah Castellano Lubov