Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Feast of the Assumption

August fifteenth is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a beautiful Marian Feast and when I was growing up always signaled that the end of summer is near. It is comforting to believe that two people, Our Lord, and his Mother, have their bodies with them in eternal life. It gives me hope that I will be reunited with my parents, whom I miss. On the other hand, I assume and I hope, that my resurrected body will not be disabled. I am growing weary of that and when the time comes will be glad to relinquish this body for one that works better.

The Assumption also makes us pause and realize that Mary lived on for some time after the death and resurrection of her Son. She was surrounded by people who, although not related, cared for her. She was old enough to be a grandmother, although official church teaching says that she had none. It is comforting as I age to think of Mary as an older woman, not the young girl of the Annunciation paintings and to realize that she knew some of the life changes and problems that I face.

In addition, I would like to propose that on this feast, it would be good to think about how our society cares for the aging, especially aging women who have not worked in careers. While that demographic is changing, it still exists and I believe that just as the disciples gathered around Mary and took care of her needs, so too should our communities gather around those who need care.

The elderly, especially elderly widowed folk and disabled people, often need more help financially with a better foundation of income, more help with health care and support services than our current society provides. The church, or ecumenical churches working together, could do a great deal of good here by setting up insurance companies that will provide services over profit to investors; credit unions could be of great service with lower interest rates on loans and credit cards and work could be provided for many people at home so that aging would not be so synonymous with poverty as it currently is.

In addition, private foundations could also be of service in providing for many helping aids. More about this in a later post. For today, I give thanks and praise for the Life of Mary, the Blessed Virgin and her roles for us to emulate. I ask her prayers for all of us, especially those of us who are disabled and aging.

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