On August 15 we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patroness of the Cistercian Order. Br. William presents a look at the life of Our Dear Lady: “Mary refers to herself as the Handmaid of the Lord. The term Handmaid comes from two Hebrew words (shiphchah and ‘amah) both meaning a female slave.
The Blessed Virgin used this term as a sign of humility and respectfulness in the presence of great men, prophets and kings. In that instance of the Annunciation from the angel Gabriel because he was a messenger of God.
A simple humble maid who was deeply in love with God, her faith knows no boundary, when She accepted God’s invitation to be the mother of the beloved son of God.
Immediately knowing her cousin Elizabeth was with child she hurried over to be a nursemaid for the birth of St. John the Baptist. What a lovely and kind gesture.
How she must have felt to have the Son of God born in a stable instead of the warmth of the room. Accepting all for the love of God. Faithful to the mosaic law she presented the child Jesus in the temple and was foretold of her future sufferings to be a Mother of Sorrows.
Next with St. Joseph, another good and faithful servant of God, the first refugee family fled to Egypt.
Life in a foreign country as refugees was overwhelmed with difficulties.
How she must have worried when Jesus at 12 was left behind for three days on his own. She only could have chided her dear son and must have been full of Joy to find him in the temple.
She knew the mission of Jesus and that He was to be the Messiah long waited for. Her simple phrase to the servants at the wedding feast at Cana “Do whatever He tells you” shows how much deep faith and love she has for her Son.
It must have saddened her to know that her beloved son though carrying out His mission of mercy had to live in such a situation deprived of comfort of home: “foxes have a den, birds have a nest, but the Son God has no place to rest.”
On the road to Calvary, this sorrowful mother seeing her Son carrying the cross and falling again and again, she would have recalled how she cared for him when Jesus as a little boy must have fallen time and time again but at this juncture she was unable to hold him with those brutal soldiers guarding him.
At the foot of the cross, Jesus entrusted Her to be the Mother of the church of all followers of Him. She took on that responsibility as shown by what she does for humankind today who honor her as Mother of perpetual help.
She declared in that beautiful canticle: For behold from henceforth all generations will call me Blessed…
Wishing all our friends blessings and the comfort of such a loving Mother to lead us to Jesus,
Your brothers of New Clairvaux
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