August 15, 2020: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
All generations will call me Blessed
Dear friends in Christ, today we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it, “Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of Lords and conqueror of sin and death. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians.”
Our first reading (Revelation 11:19;12:1-6.10) is the vision of John on the heavenly temple in which he saw, “A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child…” This image Christians associate clearly with Mary. The Miraculous medal has this image dedicated to Mary. It is not impossible to also associate this woman with the story of Eve and ultimately with the Church—the bride of Christ. In the feast we celebrate today, we have an assurance of Mary and the Church sharing in the glory portrayed here. Set free from the power of the evil one— represented by the dragon, we share in that victory of the true followers of Jesus.
The second reading (1Corinthians 15:20-27) is an assurance that, just like Christ is the first fruit of all those who have fallen asleep, those who belong to him will also share in that victory over death. In him also shall the enemy—death, be destroyed. Christ is seen as the new Adam and he is the beginning of the harvest of life—the one who has come to undo the sin of the old Adam.
Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:39-56) celebrates the joy of Mary in her magnificat. In this hymn, she rejoices in God who reverses the unjust structure of the oppressive human regimes, to give his people victory. In it she rejoices in the salvation of the poor and lowly; she praises a God who heeds the cry of the hungry and satisfies their hunger; she recognises that what has happened in her life has come by grace and not effort and so she praises the holiness of a God who has done great things for her; She celebrates what humility achieves in the sight of God and how God abhors and brings down the proud and mighty from their thrones. Mary celebrates her visitation by the angel, as that of a nation; as the remembrance of Israel by God; as a show of God’s mercy. She is thereby the Mother of all the living, the Mother of Mercy, the new Eve through whom life flows to all believers. This hymn of Mary reminds us of the need to show humility before a God who never forgets his promises, a God who can right what is wrong and who brings about extra-ordinary events to show his closeness to his people. Celebrate her with joy in the glory of the Assumption. She is the mother of all who believe.
Let us pray: We fly to your protection, O holy Mother of God, despise not our prayers in our necessities but deliver us from all dangers, o Blessed, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.