Danger or Grace?

(Written for Xavier…that’s why it reads a little funny here…)

I am having a hard time shaking the irony from in between the trite adage about the dangers of assuming anything and the glory of the Assumption of Mary.

On the one hand, dealing with anything less than the reality of what is before you can get you into trouble. On the other. Mary, fully human, was incorporated into the fold of heaven immediately upon her death. Suppositions and full welcome, together in one word…one act….Makes me think about my own assumptions—of both kinds, really.

What are my assumptions about the others who gather with me in the assembly of the faithful? What barriers do they place for me? Is there truth to them? How firm or loose a grip do I have on them? Yet, there is a desire on my part to be assumed into the group of those who make their home here at Xavier. To be assumed wholly, completely, as one of the many fallible, messy, generous, loving, people who find their way here. It isn’t just a part of me that proclaims the Word, it’s all of me, and that’s what comes with me to the table.

Perhaps that is one of our calls—to change our assumptions, or even broaden them—so that when we welcome people, it is a welcome of the whole—heart, mind, spirit, confusion, anger, glory, song, and silence… And, yes, maybe that will mean we appear the fool sometimes. What is real isn’t always neat and tidy, pretty and punctual.

Then again, surely those coming have assumptions too—or at least, I know I did when I first came here. I assumed the presence of love. Of care. Of welcome and concern and awe and attention to the act and prayer of worship.

Perhaps it is a mutual assumption of truth. Offered and received, multiplied and shared. Accepted, cherished, yes, even questioned, but with openness and frank simplicity.

Bold, but wow—wouldn’t it be great? Hmm—maybe at this time of renovation and restoration it’s time to create a new saying about what happens when we assume.

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