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One way of understanding why the Church speaks of Mary with a loving and devotional boldness is to recognise that in speaking of her, the Church is always speaking about Christ and the life of grace in us as it comes into its eternal plenitude. In a real, personal, and immediate way, Mary illuminates what it means to live a life totally alive to Christ and to God’s purpose for our world. .... With her ‘yes’ she stands in solidarity with the poor and the victims, with all those who, like her, have had to hold a dead child in their arms, or flee their home to protect their family. This woman of Nazareth is in solidarity with all those who, in the midst of the precariousness and toil of an unrecognised domestic life, have never stopped believing that somehow, even in the darkness of suffering and death, God was working. .... In her Assumption, Mary does not stand only in the presence of her son but again, as at Pentecost, she is found at the centre of the Church. So, too, her Assumption seals her solidarity with us. Yet Mary never loses her unique maternal mission to help us all find our way to her son. She belongs to the whole Church in every age. She is rooted in history but by God’s grace not bound by it. Now all generations can lay claim to her maternal help. Wherever we are on that journey, the feast of the Assumption gives us a vision of the home that awaits us, and the promise that is and will be fulfilled. Mary of Nazareth, Mother of God and Mother of the Church assures us that the journey is worth making and that none of us travel alone. Excerpts from an article by James Hanvey SJ published in ‘THINKING FAITH’


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