Cardinal Bo: Mary's Assumption, a rallying cry to transform the world
By Deborah Castellano Lubov
Mary's Magnificat, not only shows her boundless and total trust in God, but is a rallying cry to transform the world.
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, and President of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), made this observation in his recent homily for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
As he hailed Our Lady's fearlessness despite the surprises and eventual suffering that would come her way, Cardinal Bo reassured that, in our world today, and its own challenges and evils, She is with us and will protect us.
"The Assumption," he reflected, "is not just Mary ascending from the grave," but is "the hope, it is the longing, the affirmation of God that what happened to Jesus and happened to Mary will happen to all of us."
When it seems all is over, he reminded, it is not, for life, not evil, has the last word.
Still a role for faith
The Cardinal insisted there is "still a role for faith in the battle between good and evil."
"Mary, the mother of Jesus whom we celebrate, helps us to root that battle- and our faith- firmly in the real world instead of a world of fantasy. Her song, the Magnificat," Cardinal Bo said, "is a rallying cry for the transformation of the world."
Despite her marginalized and vulnerable status of being a young woman, and unexpectedly pregnant, he said, she "sings with absolute confidence in a God who confounds expectation," and "names the dragons of her own day, and of ours: poverty, power imbalance, injustice, hunger." She "speaks of God’s utter commitment to their destruction," he said.
Mary’s song, Cardinal Bo stated, is not "a fantasy" or "a fairytale," but calls us to a relationship with God, "where we work with Him to bring about the Kingdom on earth."
Even if "the dragons of anger and ogres of greed are as much of a threat now as they ever were," the Cardinal of tried-and-suffering Myanmar, says, we must not be discouraged. "Jesus became man not because man was terrible and awful and should be destroyed, but so that man might know his true dignity, his true worth, his true value, that nothing can destroy because that worth and dignity and value come from God Himself," he said.
Humanity's greatness, Cardinal Bo reassured, consists of our identity as God's children and is not determined externally.
This, he suggested, entails embracing our responsibility to love, care, forgive, and face anger with kindness while facing despair, "with a deep and lasting hope that it is God’s will that ultimately will be done."
"All the little things that we do and all the little efforts that we make are, once again," Cardinal Bo consoled, "an example to the world that God is among us, that God is here, Jesus did not die for nothing."
"One thing," the Cardinal upheld, "that cannot be taken away" is that "we love, care, sacrifice, and believe."
"This will never perish, never die," Cardinal Bo said, noting this is "because the little Virgin of Nazareth said 'Yes!' when the angel came and asked her if she was willing to become the mother of the Messiah."
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