Kia tau te Rangimarie ki a koutou
This Saturday is the Solemnity of the Assumption, a Holy Day of Obligation for us and the day we celebrate Mary, the Mother of Jesus as the Patroness of New Zealand. Unfortunately, we are not now able to celebrate Masses on this day because of the recent move to Level Two for most of the country. This of course does not stop us from praying to Mary and making something special about this day.
During the recent Covid 19 Lockdown the New Zealand Bishops had many requests from people asking us to consecrate New Zealand to Mary using the title “Mary, Queen of the World.” Most of those people were very surprised when the bishops responded to them telling them that New Zealand is already consecrated to Mary, and that it is celebrated on the Solemnity of the Assumption. Our diocese is also, of course, consecrated to her under the tile of the Immaculate Conception (8th December) On that day every year we re-consecrate the Archdiocese to her and ask for protection and specially to keep us safe from earthquakes.
The Solemnity of the Assumption is a day of great hope for us, as one of the prayers says, “Where she has gone (to heaven) we hope to follow.” Someone who shared our human life is already in heaven.
Some years ago, Pope Benedict wrote that “precisely because Mary is with God and in God, she is very close to each one of us. While she lived on this earth she could only be close to a few people. Being in God, who is actually within all of us, Mary share in this closeness of God.” She “knows our hearts, can hear our prayers, can help us with her motherly kindness. She always listens to us. …. Assumed into heaven, Mary reveals our own destiny.”
Now that the country has gone back to Alert Levels Two and Three, please pray on this Solemnity of the Assumption for New Zealand, pray that we be kept safe from COVID-19 and that all people will take extra care to protect themselves and others. This weekend, on the Solemnity of the Assumption please also pray for the Archdiocese as we continue to “reorganize for mission” and strive to enable all our families and parishes, schools and colleges, all our organizations and individuals to be “a mission.” Naku noa + John