Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Assumption Countdown ~ Day Two


Ethiopian Mother of God

MARY'S FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION CELEBRATES that we are called to community - even beyond this world's relationships, to a heavenly community. This icon, with its eye-animated saints packed in and around Mary and her Boy-Child, suggests this happy, heavenly friendship. 

In her Assumption, Mary is completed as the one who consistently took up her role in creating community around the Lord. She visited Elizabeth and Zechariah at the start of their pregnancies. She made the Passover pilgrimages to Jerusalem. She was mindful of the dilemma the newlyweds faced at Cana. She struggled with her friends beneath the cross of Jesus. She prayed with the disciples in the upper room. Christians create, restore and strengthen community where they go.

When Catholic Haitians first started immigrating to the United States, they were aghast to discover that as soon as Sunday Mass was over (or even right after Communion), the church parking lot was emptied and the next crowd came in. There was no lingering, no sharing, no gathering of friendship. In Haiti, Sunday Mass overflows into hours of being with each other. 

When I would ask young Americans being interviewed before Confirmation why they don't go to Mass on Sunday, they would answer, "My family is too busy." Indeed, too busy. But the community suffers for the busy-ness. Did this begin when stores started staying open on Sundays in the 1970's, which meant that some people had to go to work, which meant that the fundamental Christian community of the family was disrupted and fractured? 

Perhaps, in anticipation of the Assumption feast we might find some small way of extending community. There's one Sunday between now and Mary's Feast Day. Might we could restore the old-fashioned idea of Sunday dinner, even to the inviting of a guest or two. Some of the younger people who are reading this post might have no idea what I'm talking about: Sunday dinner, stores closed on Sunday. Ask someone older than 50. Having each other makes all the difference in the world.

5 comments:

  1. You make a good point. Sunday used to be family time. There were no stores, not even grocery stores open. No running to soccer games or little league games on Sunday. It was a day to go to Church, eat with family and just spend time together. We, as a society, have lost this sense of family, the roots of all communities. Yes, it makes all the difference in the world. And I am not even older than 50 and I see this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really find this all so very interesting. This site came to me through a social media recommendation and I never expected to be so engaged in a blog. I am fascinated by the topics and the style changes from one post to the next. A prayer, a poem, a call to thought, a personal story...you never know what you will find when you click on the link for the day. And the comment by the previous person is absoutely correct. We have lost a sense of family. Not just the traditional family, but family life all around. And that has led to a breakdown in society. I will keep these thoughts in mind as the Feast of the Assumption draws near.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad for your experience here ~ spread the word. God be with you!

      Delete
  3. What happens when you feel a greater sense of community at your too busy for church Sunday outings than at mass? What then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't imagine that's difficult to arrive at...lots of people (including the priest) invest very little of themselves in creating a sense of community around the altar. You know AA meetings often take place in church basements. It's said that there's frequently more of a sense of community downstairs than upstairs. Forgive my indelicacy; I don't mean to sound rude, but there's a saying: "The fish stinks from the head." The renewal of our parishes has to begin with a renewal of the clergy.

      Delete