There are people who talk all the time – or perhaps it just seems that way! We could be one of them and not realise it. Perhaps it is our personality or we are so full of ideas that we cannot wait to explain them all. Or perhaps it is our ego: what we say must be more important than whatever anyone else has to say so they never get a word in edgeways. It takes all sorts to make the world! But there is a lesson to be learned from this and it affects us all. 

The more we talk, the less we listen. 

All true relationships, be they chit-chat at a party or a long- lasting friendship, are founded on give and take. We each listen to and respond to the other. 

So why does the newly pregnant Mary talk so much this Sunday? She hurried to her cousin Elizabeth’s house in the hill country, when Mary seems to burst into a long speech or song, the Magnificat. In it she even says that all generations are going to call her blessed! Ego talking about herself!

But if we really read and examine the Gospel, we see that Mary is responding to Elizabeth’s “You are the mother of my Lord! Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” 

The Magnificat is not about Mary, it is about God. She will be blessed by all generations, she says, not because she is herself something great, but because God’s love and mercy are, and they will pour out through her to the world.

Mary had a lifelong habit of listening to God’s love. She sensed the Holy Spirit when she received it. Her reaction? To speak the divine Word into the world. She is the great example of hearing and then speaking. 

The feast of the Assumption salutes this trust and openness in Mary. She had been at one with God all her life, even in the passion and death of her son. The Assumption is not a mythical statement of fancy, it is an acknowledgment of how close Mary had been to Jesus all life long, and especially in his death. 

Having completed the course of her earthly life, Mary was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven.