One of the highlights of the Jubilee celebration was the renewal of the Covenant of Love on the 18th. Due to the large numbers of people, the celebration was in the outdoor arena. At first I was disappointed. I wanted to be at the Original Shrine to renew my covenant, the shrine was just a five minute walk away. But the planning committee did an amazing job with the big screens and the live broadcast of the Original Shrine.
Then something amazing happened. A group of young men began to carry the original picture of the framed MTA into the arena. She was placed on a platform, similar to the gestatorial chair which would carry former popes at large gatherings. As the MTA picture entered the arena I found myself absolutely “struck” by the significance. While it is true that “a picture” of the MTA was entering the arena, the sensus fidei (sense of the faithful) told me different.
It felt as if Mary herself, as if Jesus himself, were entering the arena. The jubilant expressions on peoples faces, the waving flags, the music, all awakened in us that Mary and her Son had come to be with us, she was present. My wife said, “Wow, it’s like a celebrity just arrived!”
Then I recalled thinking, Is this not the mission of the pilgrim shrine? Do we walk with that kind of faith that Mary and her Son truly, yes TRULY, ACCOMPANY US on our journeys through the streets, to peoples, homes, into our workplaces? Do we really believe it? I must admit sometimes my faith is lacking, sometimes I do not carry the MTA, sometimes I’m afraid to bring her into the public.
This experience convinced me that TRULY, SHE ACCOMPANIES US IN THE PICTURE. SHE IS WITH US, WALKS WITH US. TRUST HER. ALL I NEED IS THE COURAGE TO TAKE HER TO THE STREETS. FATHER, GIVE ME THIS COURAGE!
Curtis Kneblik, OH