FOCUS: “Mary, Our Cause of Joy and Hope in the New Academic Year”
Readings: Apocalypse 11:19; 12:1-6, 10 // 1Corinthians 15:20-26// Luke 1:39-56
(Psalm 44 )
Living the Feast of Assumption Today
Many non-Catholics (and some Catholics, too) confuse honouring Mary and worshipping God. The Church honours Mary because of the honour that God Himself gave to her in making her the mother of Jesus, and also because of her faith and love.
The Church worships only God. Catholics do not worship Mary, but we do respect and love her as the Mother of Christ, “who is truly the Mother of God, whom the Eastern Christians call ‘Theotokos’, that is, she who begets God.” She is the Mother of the Church, just as she is our model of faith and love. There is more to learn from her.
As the Mother of God (Theotokos), Mary is mother to all, not only Catholics. By her openness to God with faith and trust, she is a model for us today. When we walk through difficult moments, when we know not what to do any longer, let us turn to her: “as the beginning and the pattern of the Church in its perfection, and a sign of hope and comfort for your people on their pilgrim way” (Preface of the Assumption).
It is our belief that, after Christ, Mary has “occupied the next highest place of glory in heaven from the moment that her earthly life ended” (O’Sullivan, The Sunday Readings “B”, 1994, p.461). She co-operates with [our Saviour] in his salvific mission and is now enjoying eternal glory in heaven. We can rest assured that she will intercede for all who ask her; her intercession will not be ignored, in our favour.
As we honour her today, let us do so in the manner she wants: let us thank God for all the graces – particularly the realization of our “dream of moving to the permanent site” and all other successes and achievements of the Church’s maiden University in Ghana. Let us try to overcome all bitterness and pain resulting from disappointments and failures, from unfulfilled promises and aspirations.
Let us resolve every conflict and hatred, suspicion and mistrust, apathy and laxity, violence and rivalries… bearing with one another through love. We need to have mutual respect, understanding and co-operation among ourselves, guarding against all manner of thinking, behaving and acting that will jeopardize our efforts to make the CUCG a “unique university’’.