Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 14 August 2022
The Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Mary
Rev. 11:19a; 12:1-6a,10ab; Ps. 45:10bc,11,12ab; 1Cor. 15:20-26; Luk. 1:39-56
Let’s take a moment to listen to the Canticle of Mary. Luke is a gospel of joy: presenting Jesus as the source of joy to the world. When conceived by His mother, Jesus brought joy. John the Baptist, who was also conceived, jumped in joy when “meeting” Jesus. Both mothers also shared joy with each other. Therefore, the Canticle of Mary anticipated the messianic joy which would be presented by her Son. Jesus would bring joy to the world, when He was born, during His ministry and work, and in His future church. Today Mary summarizes this joy of the gospel in Magnificat! Why? There are two main reasons.
First, because of God’s work in her. Mary’s joy is not the result of her achievement as a human. Her joy is based on what God has done for her. God’s work could not be easily digested by human logic: being pregnant as a virgin, without human intervention. That’s why she asked the angel: How can this be since I have no relation with a man? Mary asked for an explanation. God’s work will not always be instantly clear. God’s action sometimes leads to struggle. Of course, asking for an explanation is different from asking for evidence. That’s where the difference between Mary and Zechariah. When he was informed that his wife would be pregnant, Zechariah asked: “How shall I know this?” He did not ask for an explanation, instead, he asked for proof which was an assurance. How can a priest ask for evidence and assurance from the angel of the Lord standing before him? No wonder he was made temporarily mute, while Mary could still talk and sing joyfully. Mary has faith in God’s work. She believed that the Lord “has looked upon His handmaid’s lowliness” (v. 48).
Second, because of God’s work in the history of His people. Mary’s faith is not only personal but also communal. She puts her personal experience in the whole history of her people. Mary and Israel are “the Lord’s servants” (v. 48 and 54). God who is acting in her is the same God who acted in the history of Israel, from the time of Abraham (v. 55). The way of God’s working remains unchanged: overturning the hope and order built by humans. On one side, He is the Liberating Lord: strong and doing big things for His people. He is the Lord who shows His majesty, scattering the proud and sending away the rich with empty hands. On the other side: He is also the loving Covenant Lord who raises the weak and poor, shares righteousness with all poor people, and loves those who fear Him. The canticle of Mary is the summary of salvation history, as well as the anticipation of Luke’s themes.
De Maria numquam satis: talking about Mary, our words and sayings will never be enough! Her faith always amazes people of all ages: a personal faith, without being an eccentric and introverted faith. She is the model of faith rooted in history, the model of faith that constantly testifies how God defends those who are weak because He is always faithful to His promises.
(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of the Indonesian Church this month:
For the purpose of Universal Churches: Small and medium-scale of business
We pray for the small and medium scale of businesses. In the midst of economic and social crises, may they find a way to continue their business and serve the community.
For the purpose of Indonesian Churches intention: Trusted means for distribution of donation
We pray for the community groups to be able to create a trusted means to distribute the virtue and donation from the good-hearted people to the needs.