Mamanuncion. November 7, 2016

I found a treasure in one of the shops in Santiago, a shop called “Sagradelos” specializing in ceramic plates, statues, plates, and the like. There she sat, a statue of a woman seated, covered in a large coat, feet wrapped in open ankle-length unlaced boots, with her beleaguered face peering out of coat. The attendant behind the counter explained the title of this statue: “mamasuncion” given by the director of a Spanish film about refugees. The main character is this woman, Mamanuncion, waiting patiently, years, for her son, living in American,  to get her passage from the refugee camp to freedom in the States. But she waits….

The statue intrigued me, particularly its title: “mamasuncion.” The word “Asunción” means Assumption. The woman portrayed in the statue certainly has an identity with Mary, something the salesperson did not know, since she was not cognizant of the feast in the Church. Mary as the Mother of Refugees is both poignant and prophetic. The character in this film echoes Mary and her patient love. How rich this simple ceramic depiction is if one understands the meaning of words. The Assumption of Mary celebrates an essential truth of our faith: body and soul, heaven and earth, human and divine will come together in a unity of love that will not obliterate the material but transform it. Soul and body will be joined together in a recreation of humanity and all its racial expressions. We are humans, waiting in advent Hope, like Mamasuncion, for the SON to bring us back. 

Mary patiently waits for us all. She is the mother who wears the clothing of the poor, the political outcast, the field worker, the trafficked, the pregnant indigenous. Her soul that “proclaims the greatness of God,” does so by bringing God into the lives of those who have no voice. Mary is no passive, docile individual who keeps to herself. She is the Woman who spoke words of radical upheaval: “God will cast down the mighty; God will scatter the conceited of heart and send the rich away empty.” These are words are rooted in prophecy, spoken with confidence and power. 

The season of advent is waiting for us to wait in patient love. Fr. Frank 

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