Blessed Virgin Mary’s Assumption into Heaven and Independence Day of India
Assumption is celebrated by not only the Roman Catholic Church but it is also celebrated by the Anglican Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox Church.
By K. L. Joseph
August 15 will be celebrated in commemoration of two major events - one being a heavenly event relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s assumption into heaven, and the other India’s political independence or freedom.
Blessed virgin Mary, the wife of St. Joseph and the mother of Jesus , did not die while she was living on the earth. She was bodily taken up by God into heaven and since she was taken into heaven by God, the event is named Assumption but Jesus being God himself after Resurrection, he went to heaven on his own and therefore that event is called Ascension. In theological terms, Mary remained immortal while she was on this earth also. Assumption is celebrated by not only the Roman Catholic Church but it is also celebrated by the Anglican Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox Church.
For all the faithful in Jesus Christ, including the poor and downtrodden, who have lost their hope in life, Mother Mary is the ultimate and perpetual succour to be approached for favour and blessings, because, she was known for her concern and love for the people in distress and helplessness . The miracle happened at the wedding in Cana will serve as a testimony to this fact. At the wedding in the town of Cana in Galilee the host was put into lot of embarrassment when the most essential item of the celebration the wine got over. Then Mother Mary intervened and her Son rectified the situation through his first ever miracle though his time had not yet come and thus Mary became a sign of hope for all in distress and hopelessness.
The second major event, relates to India’s Independence Day on August 15. It will be India’s 73rd Independence Day falling on Thursday, the 15th August, 2019. On this day we pay our floral tributes to the Father of our Nation and also remember with a sense of gratitude those hundreds of thousands of freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives to liberate the Bharat Mata from the shackles of the Imperial Rule.
‘Freedom’ means ‘the state of being free’. It, however, does not mean that one is at liberty to do anything as per his will. Everything has its limitations. Freedom does not mean only its dictionary meaning viz. the independence or liberation. Many other things will go along with it. Freedom from hunger, from poverty, from debt, from inequality, from corruption, from oppression, from persecution, from unemployment , from disease and from bonded labour etc. Bonded labour still continues. According to ILO (International Labour Organization) India is still home to approximately 11.7 million bonded labourers, which also includes child labourers. Where is freedom for these hapless people?
Even after seven decades of Independence, still the progress we are supposed to make has not been achieved. We still continue a losing battle against poverty, hunger, disease, unemployment and in equality in almost all spheres of life. The disparity between the rich and the poor has only widened instead of getting reduced.
So, while unfurling our National Flag in celebration of the 73rd Anniversary of India’s Independence Day on August 15, 2019 and delivering the usual speech to the Nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, let us reflect on the true values of the freedom which emanates from Mother Mary and her Son the quintessence of true freedom. The following words of Franklin D. Roosevelt may help our reflection on this historic day that reflects the vision of Jesus: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much ; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
(Based in Trichur, Kerala, K. L. Joseph is a Catholic layman who writes on themes related to Catholic Faith.)
(Photo Courtesy : Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay)
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