Feast of the Assumption 2019Posted on 15th August 2019

What Mary could have looked likeCompared to previous centuries, the 21st is unique as it is the first century that has failed to successfully, systematically oppress women. Thus, 2019 represents an era where social freedoms are being renegotiated and the role of women is being re-examined.

While traditional interpretations of Mary construct a narrative of an obedient woman, more contemporary revisions of Mary’s selflessness have become overwhelmed with appreciation for Mary’s bravery and wisdom. The Feast of the Assumption reminds us of Mary’s powerful decision to carry Jesus and raise him, likely knowing of his future fait on the cross. As a young girl in times when women’s sex lives were controlled by families, institutions and wider society, Mary decided to risk losing the ability to better her own life and invite further discrimination by caring a child with an unknown father.

Moreover, Mary was the one of the only saints able to fully share in the feelings of loss with God when Jesus died on the cross, as both had a deep intrinsic connections to Jesus as their Son. Consequently, the Feast of the Assumption calls us to reflect on knowing what God has asked us to do by assigning us to our gender. As women,  the nature of our birth has given us the capacity to perform one of God’s greatest miracles, bringing life into the world while also giving us men as partners to help raise and love the child as the Father loves us. While women may not struggle against the levels of oppression Mary faced when having her child today, the Feast of the Assumption reminds us to follow the strength, resilience, and sturdy commitment and autonomous decision making that led Mary to her sainthood despite internal and external pressures to behave otherwise.

Trepuzzi, Italy, August 14 2018, Patronal feast in honor of Our Lady of the Assumption, typical of many cities in Southern Italy
Editorial credit: Jekatarinka / Shutterstock.com

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