St. Edward on the Lake, Lakeport, MI | DOWNLOAD AUDIO
August 15, 2016
Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab; 1 Cor 15:20-27; Lk 1:39-56
The Assumption is one of the great Feasts in the Church in honor of our Blessed Mother. On this day, we thank God for this special grace given to Mary that at the end of her earthly life, she was taken up body and soul into Heaven. What we must never forget about the feast days of Mary is that ultimately, they all point to Jesus. Mary’s whole life pointed to Jesus. Her own words today tell us that: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” In this case, we remember that Mary was not assumed by her own power but by the power of God. God made this happen for her because of her great love for Him and because she is a perfect example of what it means to live for Heaven. So while we certainly honor Mary today as our Mother, Queen, and model, we praise God for His generosity and how He rewards those who love Him completely.
Mary’s Assumption, then, is a sign of her great love. We know from our own experience of love that when we love someone, we are drawn to that someone; we want to go and be with that someone. We don’t want anything to hold us back. Love seeks union with the one that it loves. Mary’s love for God was so great that at the end of her life, Earth could no longer keep her from the God whom she loved completely. And because Mary’s love for God was purer than any, it makes sense that she would be assumed into Heaven immediately after her earthly life was over.
But what the Assumption also reminds us of is the fact that we were made for eternal life. As we see Mary being taken up into Heaven, we are reminded that Heaven is where we should want to be as well, that we must always strive to get there. We want to follow our Mother, and we do that by imitating her.
First, we imitate Mary’s faithfulness to God. Even though Mary didn’t fully understand the angel Gabriel’s message to her that she would be the Mother of God’s Son, she trusted God and said yes to whatever He was calling her to. Sometimes, we don’t understand where God is leading us. But hopefully, our trust in Him allows us to say yes to Him, confident that He will allow our yes to bear good fruit in our lives.
We must also imitate Mary’s generosity. Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth during her own pregnancy even though she herself was with Child. The road that she would travel was a very difficult one, and yet Scripture said that she made that journey “in haste”. Generosity demands that we are quick to tend to the needs of others even if our own situation is challenging. That’s not easy, but it is the example that Mary gives to us.
The Assumption also reminds us that the more we grow in our love for God, the less interested we are in the things of this world. The more we love God, the more we are drawn to Him. And hopefully, our love for Him continues to grow until we have a distaste for anything that keeps us from Him, especially sin which places a division between us. Mary was free from sin. There was nothing to prevent her union with God. And so one goal of the spiritual life is to develop a distaste for sin.
Finally, we remember that Mary having been assumed into Heaven is a powerful intercessor for us. As Catholics, we pray to Mary with great confidence because no one is closer to God than she is. And our prayer should be that one day we will get to follow her. Let us place our cares and concern into the immaculate hands of our Mother that she may bring them to Her Divine Son. Mary, Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us.