August 15, 2012
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (holy day of obligation)
Luke 1: 39-56
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Mary, Our Mother
Understanding the Assumption requires us to look first at Christ’s Ascension. In celebrating the mystery of the Ascension, Christians do not remember Christ’s departure from his disciples so much as his presence to them in a different manner. The disciples cannot “hold on” to Jesus as they did when he walked among them in a mortal body. Yet, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus nevertheless remained present among them, provided they were willing to meet him exteriorly through the Church and interiorly through their own conversion and prayer. In the Church, Jesus still remains present in a powerful way, a way even more powerful than when he walked among us, because now he has entered into full glory.
Likewise, the Virgin Mary did not depart from us in her Assumption. She simply entered into the glory promised for those who open themselves to receiving the salvation which Christ won for us. Since Mary received this grace perfectly, she is exalted above all other believers and has become our spiritual mother in heaven, always present to those who turn to their hearts to her. I have seen with my own eyes how hearts grown cold to the gospel through fear or tepidity have returned to the fire of grace through calling upon Mary to intercede for them. Today we, too, can turn to our spiritual mother in heaven and ask her to obtain for us the graces we need to be true disciples in the world.
—Fr. Kevin Dyer, S.J
Lord, your relationship with your mother so beautifully reveals a son’s love for his mother and a mother’s steadfast love for her child. Mary understood that one day her beloved son would face the brutality of the cross. With this awareness always dangling in the future, she savored her time with Jesus — raising him through childhood, through his teenage years and into adulthood. In her hour of greatest suffering, she released her Son to the Father and embraced all of us whose hearts might one day grieve for their children. Lord, thank you for your Mother. We pray in hopeful anticipation that our children will hear Mary’s voice and grow in purpose, service and the self-realization of their talents.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
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