The month of August is more important and meaningful for all of us for reasons more than one. After July, it too has 31 days making it an uneven month; first of the month is the date on which the official proclamation and inauguration of the status of Minor Basilica of St Lawrence Shrine at Attur-Karkala and 10 will be the titular Feast of St Lawrence the most popular, highly revered and sought after Saint of our region; the date 15 is most auspicious and precious for us Indians because it is our Independence Day and for us Catholics, it is the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and added to all these privileged and blessed dates in August, there comes the nature’s gift of abundance of rain and water with cool atmosphere, lush green surroundings and feelings of freshness, newness and abundance after a spell of dryness in the weather and atmosphere.
What we must learn to notice and observe is God’s providence and generosity in all these events, dates and celebrations because He cares for us, hears us, provides us with what we need and of course blesses us. God blessed us with a Minor Basilica, He blessed us with Independence, He blessed us by taking our Mother Mary body and soul to Himself in heaven and has blessed us all with fresh greenery, fresh vegetables and fruits and cooler temperature to study, work and pray. Therefore we have more reasons to rejoice, feel and be happy and go about in August.
I wish to draw your attention to two events in this month: that of Independence Day and the Solemnity of the Assumption. Freedom is an essential right to living and promotion of human dignity. Right to faith, Practice work, free speech, movement, proclamation are all part of this freedom which are fundamental and therefore restricting them will mean binding us with shackles making us incapacitated to rights which are ours for growth and progress. There are also other fetters which can and will enslave us and these are: communalism, fundamentalism, marginalization of the poor and the downtrodden, exploitation of the weaker sections in the society, minors, and women and less privileged… the list is long and big.
The feast of Assumption is a celebration of great joy because Mary our Blessed Mother has joined Her Son Jesus in heaven body and soul and of great hope because if and when we all free ourselves from all these structures, shackles and fetters which enslave us here on earth, then we will be with Her and Her Son Jesus Christ who is seated at the right hand of His Father where He has prepared rooms also for us to be there with Him, His Mother and the Heavenly Chor.
Therefore let us thank God for the month of August and the blessings it will shower on us on all in this month.
May God’s abundant blessings be upon you all.
XGerald Isaac Lobo
Bishop of Udupi