This morning two of my close friends in college told about the passing of her brother-in-law and the other, about his close friend, all due to CoVid19. It’s not only this day but these past weeks that several friends and colleagues experienced the passing of a loved one due to this virulent virus. Sometimes we hear others ask, “Why is God allowing this to happen?
In his homily today, Rev. Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB, shared that in an Instagram Live event he hosted, one of the questions asked was, “Where is God in this Covid19 pandemic?” Fr. Armand remembered his answer,
“God is in the very mystery of Covid. God is in our helplessness. God is in our confusion. He did not send Covid to us, but the question is, ‘What do we do with the situation right now, to bring our best foot forward?
When you’re in a difficult, mysterious situation, you ask a lot of questions to yourself, some over and over again. “Where is God? I believe it is the same question in the heart of Mary, after the Annunciation... You can imagine that in our human experience, Mary may have asked these questions over and over again, “How could this happen to me?” “What is happening?” “God, what is this?”
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one of “seventeen different memorials, feasts and solemnities in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary that are found on the Roman Liturgical Calendar” (Catholic Daily Reflections). Accordingly, today’s celebration is “one of the four great Solemnities by which our Blessed Mother is honored.”
The Blessed Virgin Mary taught us how to persevere in faith. Yes the difficulties we are facing aren’t easy, but what the Blessed Mother went through were even more difficult. While she was going through all these sufferings in her pilgrimage of faith, she faithfully persevered, immersed in the mysteries of those moments, even declaring when she visited her cousin Elizabeth,
“My soul proclaimes the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for He has looked with favor on His lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is His Name.” Luke 1: 46-49.
(Note that the journey to Elizabeth’s home was a long and tiring one, notwithstanding the slow pace of the travel during that time when there were no vehicles yet in existence.)
We may ask the same questions over and over again, but like Mary, we can still proclaim the greatness of God, who is just beside us in our most challenging moments. We can just immerse deeply in the experience, fully trusting in God’s wisdom and power over the situation. Mary chose to continue glorifying God, even in the midst of the mystery happening around her. She believed that “It is not about me, but it is about God”, choosing to accept with her whole heart, body and soul that Yahweh is in control. In facing our difficulties, we can be like Mary who felt God making a revelation in her life.
“It is God, making Himself felt in my life at the moment.” (Fr. Armand Robleza).
Today, amidst the despairing events surrounding us, let us reflect on the life of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary who was conceived without sin, remained sinless throughout her life, never experienced death, and was taken body and soul into Heaven. Mary suffered greatly especially during her Son Jesus’ Passion and Death, but immersed herself in the mystery of God throughout those moments, never asking why God allowed this to happen.
Let us pray for the strength of our faith, for us to submit our life completely to God so that in every trying time, instead of questioning Him, we embrace the mystery of the moment and feel His presence close to us.
Mary is taken up to Heaven; a chorus of angels exults. Alleluia, alleluia.