This Sunday the Catholic Church will celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. This Feast Day is one of the oldest feasts in the Church that celebrates Mary, and as a Marist community we will celebrate it with an online liturgy during Mass/Study next week.
When we celebrate this Feast Day, we are encouraged to reflect on the example of Mary’s life – the faith, courage, determination and service that she practised as she committed herself to raising God’s son. Much religious art that depicts Mary presents her in ways that can be hard to relate to – as a queen, a spotless maid, an angel or a woman standing on a snake. Each of these images can conjure powerful lessons about the significance of Mary to the Catholic faith tradition, or of the power of faith in our lives. Yet it is in the Scriptures that I find the Mary I can relate to: a woman presented with a challenge she couldn’t have understood, a woman who asked questions in the face of challenge, a woman who placed her trust in God and was blest for it, a woman who was a mother doing her best to support her son to be all that he could be.
`In the way of Mary’, this defining characteristic of a Marist school, challenges us to live as people of faith who strive to demonstrate the strength, courage and virtue that Mary demonstrated in her life. Saint Marcellin regularly prayed to God through Mary, placing his challenges and his worries before her patronage. He did so because Saint Marcellin recognised Mary as the perfect disciple – a person of faith who was strong enough to trust in God, face her challenges and bring Christ to birth in our world. May we all continue to ask Mary to pray for us, and draw inspiration from her example.