Mary Shows Us the Way to Heaven

by Annemarie Coman, Diocese of Joliet’s Catholic Campaign for Human Development Intern

Happy Feast of the Assumption! Today as we celebrate Mary’s entrance into heaven, let’s reflect on how we can learn from the Blessed Mother to follow the call of social justice in our own lives. Mary’s life reveals to us the importance of social justice through her witness of charity to those in need, through her position as one in need, and through her role as a mother.

Mary lived out charity in action when she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth to help with her pregnancy. Who do we know that might need a visit or an extra hand while pregnant? What can we do to assist women in crisis pregnancies, either through prayer or action? Mary lived out the work of mercy of giving drink to the thirsty when she had pity on the couple at the Wedding Feast of Cana who were running out of wine and asked Jesus to perform his first miracle, transforming water into wine. Can we volunteer at a food pantry, or donate food or drink to those that are lacking? Mary forgave offences and bore wrongs patiently as she watched her son be unjustly crucified. Where in our lives do we need to sow seeds of forgiveness and patience? Mary herself experienced the difficulties of a refugee as she and her family fled to Egypt to escape Herod’s plans. How can we stand in solidarity and work to support refugees, immigrants, and victims of human trafficking?

In living out her role as a loving mother to Jesus and now as a mother to all of us, Mary teaches us the importance of living out our role in our families. Mother Teresa gives us a powerful reminder, “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” Mary was a shining witness of love in the family, who do we know in our own homes or families that may need some extra love? Let us follow the example of Mary and work today to be a source of love to all we meet. For more ideas on how to do this, see the list of the works of mercy below. As we strive to live out the works of mercy and take action for social justice, let us ask for the intercession of our Blessed Mother. Mary, Queen of Mercy, pray for us!

                                                  Works of Mercy

Corporal Works of Mercy                                   Spiritual Works of Mercy

1. Feed the hungry                                               1. Counsel the doubtful

2. Give drink to the thirsty                                 2. Instruct the ignorant

3. Clothe the naked                                              3. Admonish sinners

4. Shelter the homeless                                       4. Comfort the afflicted

5. Visit the sick                                                      5. Forgive offences

6. Visit the imprisoned                                        6. Bear wrongs patiently

7. Bury the dead                                                   7. Pray for the living and the dead

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