August 14, 2010
Hail Mary, Pray for Us
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Luke 1: 39-56 “Mary set out and travelled to the hill country in haste”
Last Christmas Eve, while preparing food for our family Noche Buena, Louie my brother in law had a phone call. His mother requested me to administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick for his cousin Ian who was critically ill with rare viral infection. We went to St.Luke Hospital in haste and anointed Ian with holy oil. To our delight to God, he miraculously recovered from the viral infection and survived from his ordeal. Later, I learned that Ian’s mother had a dream when they were in the hospital: Our Blessed Virgin Mary told her that she will be visiting Ian on Christmas Eve. It was Christmas Eve when I administered the sacrament of healing. It dawned on me that Mary fulfilled her promised. She visited Ian on Christmas Eve and interceded for his healing. She was with us during those trying moments.
Our gospel for today was another story of Mary’s visitation. When Mary learned from Angel Gabriel that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant at her old age, Mary felt the need to support her during those moments of uncertainty and anxiety. She left her home in haste and accompanied Elizabeth during those trying moments.
In 1950, Pope Pius XXII declared the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as an official dogma of the Church. Here we proclaim that Mary went up to heaven both body and soul. But the bottom line of this dogma is – Mary gained an everlasting place in heaven. And with that, Mary can intercede for us and console us – the way she consoled Elizabeth.
The numerous Marian shrines all over the world are manifestations that Mary has a special place in our hearts. Jesus asked her to take us as her children (John 19:26-27). Unfortunately, for some of us, they only come to Mary for her intercession. We failed to see that aside from being our mediator to Jesus, she is our model in obeying God. Her life is an inspiration how to accept God’s will, especially in times of trials.
As our Mother, we can seek her presence for refuge and consolation. We can come to Mary to intercede for us and ask God to grant our deepest desires. But in all our prayers, we need to reserve a space for God’s will to work for us; believing that God knows what’s best for us. When our eyes failed to see the wisdom of God, we should turn our hearts to Mary and listen to her words, “Do whatever my Son tells you (John 2:5).” Remembering that her total trust to God led her to say: “I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word (Luke 1:38).
Recent study showed that most cancer patients who sought help in Marian Shrines returned home unhealed; but their visit to the Shrines gifted them with an unlikely miracle - they went home with renewed strength, inner peace, and determination to face their daily battle with cancer. They believe that Mary will be with them in their trying moments.
Mary will always remain as our greatest mediator to Jesus. But we should also listen to her life-giving wisdom, “Do whatever my Son tells you.” Her Magnificat is a testimony of the joy that comes from surrendering oneself to the will of God: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my Savior. He has done great things for me. Holy is his name. (Luke 1:46-55).”
When Mary ascended to heaven, God gave her a reward that all of us should aspire – an everlasting union with God.
- Fr. Wilfredo M. Samson,SJ / Ateneo de Zamboanga Chapel / August 15, 2010