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I was ordained in 1969. My first assignment was in Northbrook, Illinois. I remember quite vividly celebrating mass on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.

At the end of the mass we set free several dozen helium balloons to symbolize Mary going up to heaven. It was a beautiful sight watching those balloons drift off into the heavens. There was one major problem, however. Our parish was nearby to the Glenview Naval Air Station. Their radar screens went crazy with dozens of unidentified foreign objects. And we heard about it!

Two thousand years ago there were no radar screens as Mary went up to heaven. Four years ago National Geographic Magazine named Mary The Most Powerful Woman in the World. Mary has appeared at Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe, Medjugorje and other places. None of this was her doing. Mary was chosen by God to be God’s instrument. A God Tap

Mary looked back in her life and saw surprises: She wasn’t even married and the Angel Gabriel told her she was going to be the mother of our Savior. God is a God of Surprises.

Mary looked inward and she kept exclaiming: “God has done such great things for me.”

Mary looked forward to raising Jesus, his public life, his death and Resurrection. God had many surprises in store for her throughout her life that she lovingly accepted.

Mary looked upward on a continuing basis and connected with God. Mary gave God her address and the Angel Gabriel easily found her. We could well do the same as Mary.

God said to Mary what God says to us: “I am going to work WITH YOU, NOT FOR YOU.
We can do what Mary did – WORK WITH GOD….as God’s instrument in our world.

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