Sr. Jecinter Antoinette Okoth, FSSA
The Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya while commemorating the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into heaven on Sunday, August 15, urged the lay associates of the Montfortian family to pray for God’s graces and emulate Mother Mary by freely offering their services to others.
Addressing the congregation which included among others the Montfortian family and their lay associates at the Montfort Scholasticate community in Nairobi, the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Hubertus van Megen shared that, “Serving God in our neighbor calls us to emulate Mary’s virtue of service.”
“Through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, let us pray that we open our mind and heart to be of service to our neighbors,” the Pope’s representative said and narrated, “Mary went all the way from Nazareth to Judea to visit her cousin Elizabeth to serve because she saw the need, let us also see the need in others and be ready to serve.”
During the Eucharistic celebration when a one Ms. Esther Wanjiru made her consecration to Jesus through the hands of Mary, over ten lay associates renewed their commitments to be devoted to Mother Mary, and two Scholasticates renewed their vows in the Congregation of the Company of Mary popularly known as Montfort Missionaries (SMM), the Dutch Prelate emphasized the assumption of Mary when she appeared in heaven as the “new ark of the covenant and the bridge between the old and new.”
Archbishop Megen referenced the New Testament Book of Revelation noting that Mary faced a lot of struggles because of her son Jesus saying, “All her life she was under attack by Satan who considered her to be the beginning of his undoing.”
He explained further, “Satan understands it was because of Mary’s free and full cooperation with God’s grace that the son of god was born to rule the universe.”
In his reflection, the Nuncio shared that the battle between the Son of Mary (Jesus) and the dragon is a “battle of many ages.”
“Without the Virgin Mary, the battle would have taken a turn for the worse (but) Mary cooperates with her Son in her motherly care and stands with him always under the most difficult situations,” he explained.
Sharing in an interview with AMECEA online on her motivation to be a member of lay Montfortian associate, Ms. Wanjiru who made her consecration, declared her eagerness to follow Jesus through the Motherhood of Mary.
“Mary’s Virtues of humility, love, selfless giving and obedience inspired me and I really wanted to know more about Jesus through her,” Ms. Wanjiru narrated adding “I realized that when we pray through our Lady and ask for her intercession, it has very deep meaning and I have come to believe that through her, my prayers are heard.”
Ms. Wanjiru who took 33 lessons of formation prior to the consecration asks for God’s graces to be a dedicated disciple of the word and be ready to courageously “imitate Mother Mary’s virtues and help the poor and needy in the society.”
On his part, Fr. Jacob Otieno encouraged all the lay associates who renewed their consecration, to keep the faith and to continue praying through the founder of Montfort congregation St. Louis of Montfort and Mother Mary to be strengthened as they bear witness to Christ thorough different activities.
In conclusion the Prelates who doubles as Kenya’s and South Sudan’s Apostolic Nuncio, noted that in commemorating the Assumption of our Lady in heaven body and spirit, “We do not only celebrate her but also celebrate ourselves since she was one of us and her going to heaven shows that we all have the capacity and potential to share eternal glory with the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.”