Our Eyes Resemble Mary's: Designed to See God In Every Instance

Commentary on the Gospel of August 15, Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

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Mary is the image of the history of salvation that God has prepared for every man, the faithful mirror of what occurs every day: sown already and alive in us is the miracle of eternal life; however, our efforts have not yet been able to bring it to light. We intuit that we are made for something that will not corrupt, which will not stay entangled in memories and regrets. But, as Elizabeth, we are in need of a visit that will “fill” us with the “Holy Spirit,” so that the miracle of grace “will leap in the womb,” and prepare it to be born. We are in need of Mary.

There is no other reason than the free and infinite love of God, that makes Mary, image of the Church, “come to us to proclaim and give us her Son. Her “greeting,” which resounds wherever the seed of eternity is hidden, is the proclamation of the Gospel that awakens life in an “exaltation” of joy. God became flesh in our flesh to make our life holy.

“Shalom” says Mary to Elizabeth, as a prophecy of the words of her Risen Son. “Peace” the Church proclaims to us, as an echo of Christ’s victory, there where the world hears instead a declaration of war, and arms anger, rebellion, indignation — the efforts of those who feel defrauded by the injustices.

Where the Jews saw only a woman who was pregnant before being married, and in Jesus only flesh and blood like that of everyone else, God was revealing the Mystery that would save us: He gestated in Mary the flesh of Jesus which would render all flesh divine. Because of this, history says to us “Peace!”: God became flesh and everything is henceforth  part of a Heaven which we have yet to see but which we can begin to experience.

Everything of Mary was always for her Son, and so everything of His was for her. Mary offered her whole self to give earthly life to her Son, and He gave her eternal life. “This is the nucleus of our faith in the Assumption: we believe that Mary, as Christ her Son, has already conquered death and triumphs now in heavenly glory in the totality of her being, in soul and body” (Benedict XVI). But it is not just about a dogma proclaimed by Pius XII in November 1, 1950. On that day the Pope sealed the living and incontrovertible faith and hope of the Church.

She believes and proclaims what she experiences daily. Christ is risen and has ascended into Heaven and from there has given the Church his Spirit. Since that day the life of the Church, as the body and soul of Mary, is “assumed” into Heaven: although walking in history she lives the life of Christ. The hasty steps of the Daughter of Zion on the ridge of the mountains of Judea are, henceforth, the urgent steps of the apostles of all times that proclaim the Gospel, but they are also the steps of events and of persons that, looked at with Mary’s eyes of faith, embrace us every day in a greeting that reveals God’s authentic plan: “I know the plans I have for you, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

From experience Christians, in the wife, in the husband, in children and colleagues, even when they become enemies and take life, know how to discern the heavenly “future” that awaits them, so with firm “hope” they can commit themselves to the cross and to the death of their “I” that love implies, in the certainty that, where the world, in fact, cannot endure and divorces, aborts, drags to court and unleashes wars, Life is deposited which does not die.

Mary’s faith attests, in fact, that what will happen to them is what she has experienced: “blessedness” for having believed the preaching and the “blessed among all women” and men through the faith that overcomes the world; the “blessing” of living for Jesus, the “fruit of their womb,” giving their own flesh to Him in love, will see it transfigured and incorrupt in Heaven, the first fruits of which are the most difficult moments the burning bush in which they live, as Mary, without the fire of the passions consuming them.

Thus we too are called to proclaim that Heaven exists, through the weakness of our flesh, evident in the rudeness of character, in neuroses and insecurities, also in the wounds inflicted by sins rendered glorious by the Blood of Christ, whose light filters through and illumines the places and times of our life.

Our life has already known rescue from the tyranny of arrogance, does not await futures that will never be realized – a civil society without stains, with honest politicians, just judges, solid banks, families without tensions. Heaven, in fact, appears on earth in those that, in the Church, learn to live as Mary, humble because happy with their reality, the only possible one where God does the impossible.

Mary is our Mother and our eyes resemble hers, designed to see God in every instant; we are called in the “fear” of losing his love, to magnify the Lord and Savior,” singing the “mercy” of God that “extends from generation upon generation” and does not exclude anyone.

His mercy, in fact, permits human failures which gives us a new perspective on ourselves, to “disperse” the proud thoughts nesting in our hearts, through a sickness or any precariousness. His love sends us “away with empty hands” every time we fill them with idols to make ourselves “rich” in allusions. Only in this way can He “fill,” with incorruptible “goods,” our hunger for the absolute; today also He “puts down the mighty from their thrones,”  built with labor, among friends and family, to “exalt” what in us, in fact, is “humble” and authentic, our weaknesses , so that, as “Israel his servant,” we are made strong with Him because «helped“ by His fidelity. With Mary we are for the world the fulfillment of the “promise made to Abraham and to his posterity,” Life “everlasting” offered freely to each one.

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Antonello Iapicca

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