Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Late summer is a special time for Jesuits, as we celebrate the feast of our founder (July 31), his companion Bl. Peter Faber (August 2), and the Assumption, which was the day in 1534 on which the first Jesuits took their vows.  In his homily to a Jesuit audience on the feast of St. Ignatius, Pope Francis spoke of a sentiment that surely every sincere Christian must feel.

“Looking to Jesus, as St. Ignatius teaches us in the First Week, and especially looking at Christ crucified, we feel that sentiment, so human and so noble, that is the shame of not being able to measure up.”

How often I too have felt this sentiment, not only in looking upon the Lord, but perhaps in an even deeper way when looking upon the Jesuit saints, men who shared the same fallen condition as me and yet who gave themselves so completely to God and worked such mighty deeds in his name!  But the Pope tells us that this sentiment leads us to humility.

“Humility makes us aware every day that it is not we who build the Kingdom of God, but rather it is always the grace of the Lord that acts in us; humility that urges us to give ourselves not in service to ourselves or our ideas, but in the service of Christ and the Church, like clay vases – fragile, inadequate, insufficient, but inside which there is an immense treasure we carry and communicate.”

August 15th, 2013