Today I attended the vigil mass for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Church of the Risen Christ. It also was the much anticipated meetup of our Eastern Europe Pilgrimage “Pilgrims of Joy” after mass with Fr Kamil,who was the spiritual director of the trip. It was a day of double celebrations and happiness in thanking God for the wonderful people that I had met on the trip and Mary our mother who has been guiding us.
In today’s gospel reading, Jesus thanks the woman who told him about the sacrifices and blessing that Jesus’s mother Mary had in delivering Jesus into the world to save us from our sinful ways. But Jesus replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” Luke 11:27-28.
It is important that we ask Mother Mary to intercede and pray together with us as she is our beloved mother. When we say the Hail Mary, we are honouring our mother and asking her to pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Death has always been a morbid topic that we are afraid of and not prepared to face. Mother Mary gives us comfort and consolation that she is with us in facing both death and sin.
The assumption of Mary into heaven also gives us renewed hope and faith that through Jesus, we will enjoy the eternal salvation which is heaven. Death and sin would not hold us anymore as we trust in Mary by saying the rosary and leading a life of strong Catholic faith. Throughout Mary’s mortal journey, she was aided by God’s presence through angels (at the birth of Jesus) and the Holy Spirit (meeting with Elizabeth who was carrying in her womb John, the Baptist). Mary was never left alone to feel helpless and weary but she was provided through her Son, Jesus. She had the assistance and courage to be his mother and journey with him through his growing years. We look at Mary as the figure of courage and strength and she did God’s bidding even when she had her doubts and trusted in God through humble acceptance of his plan.
Mary also guides us to Jesus through prayer and intercession which is one of the reasons why the rosary is important in our Catholic faith. Now there are mobile applications that say the rosary with us so that we do not lose our focus. Mary wants us to find comfort and happiness by surrendering our fears, troubles and worries to Jesus. There is hope and Mary loves all of us as her own beloved children.
This week has been a rough week as the world mourns for comedian and actor Robin Williams who gave in to his addictions which constituted of drugs,alcoholism and depression. Even though he portrayed a funny, happy, friendly and hardworking person outwardly, he was struggling with his own demons and it cost him his life which is sad and tragic. I like his acting and the characters that he portrayed. Sometimes we are faced with situations or circumstances that we find hard to cope with or that constantly threatens to overwhelm us. These are moments we are most vulnerable and everything seems to be at its lowest point. Then we want it all to go away.We must know Jesus and Mary are there for us and they will help us out of our darkest moments if we surrender it all to them in prayer.
God never forgets about Mary and that he always helped her understand the situations that she faced and the ways to overcome them. Mothers, just like Mother Mary, can be seen as gifts from God and they bring us up from children to mature adults, constantly guiding and teaching us. I think that without our parents, we will not be where we are today.
As I celebrated two occasions today, it made me realise that we can bring joy to people through gatherings and communication. Looking at the gathering today, we were strangers at first but now through the pilgrimage, we are like one family, always being there for each other. I continue to pray that Jesus, Mary and Joseph will help people who are facing their fair amount of setbacks, worries and anxieties and that they may have hope and help.
God Bless! We pray for Mother Mary’s intercession for all those ill in body, mind or spirit that they will experience God’s healing and that people really care for them.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong