Deacon David reflects on Deacon Bonnie’s homily from this past Sunday as we celebrated the Assumption of Mary. If you missed Deacon Bonnie’s homily, you will be able to listen to it on our homilies page soon.
The Living Mary and a Generous Heart
August 16, 2017
Dcn. Bonnie’s homily last Sunday in celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary resonated in many ways, especially her observation, “Each of us has a piece of Mary in us.” I too have begun to discover treasures in Marian devotion that people who have never spent time with Mary are bound to overlook. It seems important, especially this week, to explore the piece of Mary that lives within us.
When I asked Google to collect articles about the Blessed Virgin Mary, I was stunned by the institutional weeds that surround her memory. The articles don’t recall her spirit, her character, her role in Jesus’s life, or her place in history. They veer off into the weeds of doctrines, differences, and dates. I’ve had to look within to discover the experience of Mary in my own life.
Because we don’t know much about Mary we explore with surmise and intuition. She was a young mother who offered herself to parenthood as an act of faith. She was clearly a transmitter of grace-filled Judaism. Jesus’s life opened and moved toward discovery of his own expansive, grace-filled faith. What he learned and discovered lead ultimately to his utterly generous self-offering to a cultural-political cause célèbre on behalf of all the lost, forgotten, violated people of his world.
The mysterious relationship among Mary and Joseph and Jesus whispers a truth: faith in Being, openness to self-discovery, and intention to offer oneself to others is passed from parents to their children, who may or may not pass their spiritual inheritance to their children. Mary’s child passed on his spiritual inheritance.
We remember Mary today because the early church remembered Mary. But “The Assumption of Mary” as doctrine misses the truth of life experience. Just as people discovered that Jesus was present in their lives after his death, so too did the people who knew Mary or heard her story discover that she was present in their lives. People live in our hearts in the ways we feel their truth and embody their life force.
Our challenge is to find words that resonate with our children, our neighbors, and American society about what it looks and feels like to be deeply human and to generously offer ourselves to our neighbors. All of our neighbors.