Your Excellency from Gabon in Africa, Your Excellency from Italy, dear brothers priests, all of you who live consecrated life, dear pilgrims from this country and from abroad, dear parishioners of Medjugorje parish, dear brothers and sisters,
Today’s Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, closes the eshatolic cycle, turns our gaze towards the goal of the human life.
After our Lord’s Resurrection and Assumption, the salvation act is achieved along with the Mother of God. She became inseparable from her Son, the image of the Merciful God. Mary says about herself:
"From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.”
Indeed, Mary’s Assumption is the expression of Mercy acting through the Mother of Mercy, Refuge of Sinners, our Intercessor.
At the horizon of our earthly life and at the edge of the eternity, a great sign appeared in the sky, a great sign of a woman. How is she presented? What does her appearance say to us?
"A woman clothed with the sun".
The light comes from the sun. Who is that sun? Her Son is the sun: the dawn from on high shall break upon us – says Canticle of Zechariah that Church prays every morning. Mary saw the Son of God in the human nature and in human body. Christ, on the other hand, has clothed His Mother in the sun. Mary shines with the light of Christ. In the private apparitions, Our Lady is always presented in the light, so beautiful, on the path of the light. In Fatima, she was always coming from the direction of the east and she would leave facing the east – in the direction of the rising sun.
We see her "with the moon under her feet.”
Moon is not the source of the light. Moon radiates the light it received from the sun. However, moon shines in the dark nights and directs those who journey. To be the moon, to be the reflection of the sun, this is the mission of us faithful, always radiating the sun that breaks upon us.
"On her head a crown of twelve stars.”
This is the sign, as cosmic and biblical at the same time. Mary, the Queen of Heaven and Earth crowned with the crown of twofold significance.
She was created as the most perfect creature ever made by the Creator, as the Star Most Bright.
On the other hand, she is written in the human history, the history of salvation. She is part of twelve tribes of chosen people from the Old Covenant as the Queen of Patriarchs and Prophets, later on she becomes the Queen of Apostles, those who are the foundation of the Church.
"She wailed aloud in Pain as she laboured to give birth."
From the cross, Jesus placed Mary, his Mother, to be universal Mother of all people; all those who need to born from above, of the water and of the Spirit. Just as our Saviour responded Nicodemus on two occasions when he said:
Jesus answered and said unto him: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God!" (Jn 3,3)
Jesus answered: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (Jn 3,5)
In the most excellent way of her motherhood, Mary is giving us a birth for the Kingdom of God.
Before she came into the glory of the Assumption, Mary was involved in the earthly life, just like all mortal people are; she was born of her parents, tradition says it was Joachim and Anna, born in a simple and modest family, not in the royal palace!
A girl from Nazareth, little by little discovered her being, incomparable to the others, mostly as she never had the experience of the personal sin. After the Annunciation, angel of the Lord brought news to Mary and said to her: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.”
Full of grace, Mary is free, from the original and personal sin. In Lourdes, Mary concludes this truth when she said: "I am the Immaculate Conception.”
With the Annunciation, after Mary said: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word" (Lk 1, 37), it is when her "pilgrimage in faith" begins in which "the Blessed Virgin Mary advanced, faithfully preserving her union with Christ”. (R. Mater 5) A pilgrimage is the connection uniting Mother of God with Christ and with the Church.
For us, Mary appears and becomes like Stella Maris – Star of the Sea for all those who are still on the journey of faith. Indeed, Mary’s faith is heroic, going through all of the mysteries of the Rosary, yes, the joyful, luminous and glorious, but also the sorrowful ones too. We are all familiar with Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the prophecy of Simeon:
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed!" (Lk 2, 34-35)
St. John Paul II said: “The Blessed Virgin Mary continues to ‘go before’ the People of God. Her exceptional pilgrimage of faith represents a constant point of reference for the Church, for individuals and for communities, for peoples and nations, and in a sense, for all humanity.” (Redemptoris Mater 6)
Besides that, St. John Paul II also said: “ Mary does not cease to be the ‘Star of the Sea’ for all those who are still on the journey of faith. If they lift their eyes to her from their earthly existence, they do so because ‘the Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first – born among many brethren (Rom 8;29), and also because in the birth and development of these brothers and sisters she cooperates with a maternal love.” (Redemptoris Mater 6)
She is not only the Star of the Sea, but also the Morning Star. What does the other title mean – Morning Star? For just as this star, together with the “dawn” precedes the rising of the sun, so Mary from the time of her Immaculate Conception preceded the coming of the Saviour, the rising of the ‘Sun of Justice’ in the history of the human race.
Let us remain strong and walk on Her journey of faith that will become our safest, shortest and the brightest path to God, Triune and the Only One, in the everlasting joy! (photos)