Tuesday, October 30, 2007

4th Glorious Mystery: The Assumption (St. John)

I am not sure what I should think. I was present on the top of the mountain when Jesus, having talked to us for some time, gradually began to ascend towards heaven and, slowly but surely, disappeared from view. An angel asked us why we were staring into the sky after One who was no longer with us on the earth, but I ask you, what would you have done in the same situation? You would have been staring, too. Nothing in the whole history of the human race has ever equalled the event that we witnessed.

…and now, there is something else that has happened that is just as strange.

Mary has been living in my house ever since Jesus died on the Cross. She has looked after me as a mother, and I have cared for her as a son. That was what Jesus asked of both of us, but I am very certain that we did not need to be asked. We would have cared for each other in any case because of our special relationship with Jesus. How could I not take his mother into my home and do for her all that Jesus could not? Knowing that I was bereft at the death of Jesus, Mary, as the wonderful mother that she is, saw that my pain was merely an echo of her own. No mother wants to see a child die as hers did, and so she took it into her head that she would ease my own suffering by taking it upon herself.

Then there was that amazing moment when we saw Jesus in the Upper Room and heard him speak once more. That was a delight beyond anything that I can ever describe. He had been truly dead. Mary and I had both seen that and we were there as he was placed in the tomb, so we knew that we were not losing our minds or imagining things that were merely products of our fevered imaginations. Jesus was really and truly with us and stayed with us for the following forty days.

Of course we felt lonely when Jesus left us and ascended into heaven. You would have felt just as we did. You would have been as reinvigorated and changed as we were when the Holy Spirit came and sat upon our heads in the form of parted tongues of flame.

Mary lived in my home for some years. We moved from time to time, but that was inevitable, especially when it was necessary to avoid some of the persecutions that were inflicted upon those of us who chose to follow Jesus. I was perfectly prepared to suffer the same fate as the other Apostles, but I wanted to keep Mary safe and so I avoided some of the worst troubles. Not that I escaped without any incident. After all, they did try throwing me in boiling oil at the Porta Latina in Rome, but I was unhurt and managed to escape yet again.

…but I am digressing. My confusion is because having seen the ascension of Jesus into heaven, I think I have just seen something similar insofar as, a few minutes ago, Mary was plainly dying. It was peaceful and serene, but she was dying. I watched as she drew her last breath. Yet now, instead of her beloved body, there is an empty bed and the fragrance of roses. Just as I watched Jesus ascend, so I have just seen Mary imitate her Son, even in this.

Is it any wonder that I am confused?

God bless,
Sr. Janet