Saturday, April 15, 2006
Ora della Madre  

Waiting, especially for those of us who struggle with patience, can be about the worst possible way to occupy a space of time. Ironically, much of what many of us do is to wait. We spend much of our time waiting. We wait in traffic. We wait in lines at the grocery store, the bank, the ATM, and the toll booth. The information age has brought waiting on hold on the telephone as you wait for the next available representative. Even when we are participating in leisure, we wait in lines at the movie theater, the lift line, and the amusement park.

Today is a day of waiting. Jesus has given all on the cross. He has died, and He has been buried in a borrowed tomb. For most of His followers, everything had been lost. Jesus, who days before was teaching and preaching in Jerusalem, was no longer alive. He had been cruelly snatched from the disciples. Just a week before, He had been riding triumphantly into Jerusalem. Now, all that they had hoped for and longed for was dashed to pieces. Scared and disillusioned, they had all fled.

Only Mary trusts the words of her Lord. She understands that the cross is not the end for her son. Her hope is in Jesus who always proclaimed that He would be raised from the dead. In response, she waits and prays. Her heart is quieted by the hope that death has not had the final word.
According to tradition, the entire body of the Church is represented in Mary: she is the "credentium collectio universa"(152). Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as she waits near the Lord's tomb, as she is represented in Christian tradition, is an icon of the Virgin Church keeping vigil at the tomb of her Spouse while awaiting the celebration of his resurrection.

The pious exercise of the Ora di Maria is inspired by this intuition of the relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Church: while the body of her Son lays in the tomb and his soul has descended to the dead to announce liberation from the shadow of darkness to his ancestors, the Blessed Virgin Mary, foreshadowing and representing the Church, awaits, in faith, the victorious triumph of her Son over death. Directory on popular piety and the liturgy, 147

Posted by David at 11:36 AM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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