The Assumption of Mary into heaven, Year B
Kh 11:19a - 12:1-6a, 10ab; 1Cor 15:20-27; Lk 1:39-56
Right from the early Church, the whole Church believed that Mary was taken to Heaven body and soul. Before the dogma of Mary’s Assumption was proclaimed in 1950, a worldwide consultation had taken.
The result was that Catholics around the world were convinced that Mary was taken body and soul into heaven.
To describe the gift of the Assumption of Mary, the liturgy, quoting the Book of Revelation, uses the beautiful words: ‘A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars’. (Rev 12:1).
In the Gospel, Elizabeth, cousin of the Virgin Mary inspired to speak, praises the Virgin Mary: ‘Blessed are you among women’ (Lk 1:42). And the Virgin Mary, recognizing the wonders God has done in her life, raises her voice to praise God in the - Magnificat: ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day, all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his name’ (Lk 1: 46-49).
The fact that Mary recognizes the gifts and the power that God has done in her life, neither to reduce her humility, nor to boast, but from this day, all generations will praise God’s great power done in her.
Looking into our lives, the faithful must also discover those gifts which, whether great, or small, God has done in our lives as to praise and thank God like Mary. In that perspective, did we ever we give thanks and praise to God for the gifts God had given to us individually and family such as the gift of birth, the gift of faith, and the gift of family with mother, father and siblings. With gifts and talents received which we presume that we do not have, it might be false humility. In our prayers, if we only complain, then we have forgotten the gifts of God or we have asked too much for ourselves. Complaining and blaming can make us not to be able see the bright side of life.
Every day we have more opportunity to give thanks to God as for a beautiful day with sunshine, with breeze blowing gently, or thanksgiving for a peaceful sleep, making our mind relaxing or thanksgiving for a delicious meal. There are those who dare not thank God for a delicious meal, being afraid that by doing so, they might lose the virtue of renunciation and sacrifice.
The Feast of the Assumption of Mary should help us feel the will to live on earth, that we put hope in eternal life. The Feast of Mary’s Assumption must direct our minds and hearts to great things, and teach us where to go. Mary’s Assumption heralds the return to God’s eternal home for the faithful. The celebration of Mary’s Assumption teaches us the full meaning of salvation: the salvation of soul and body in the last day. On the last day, we will also be likened to the status of Mary’s Assumption: soul united with body.
In the Fourth Glorious Mystery of the Rosary, we meditate the Ascension of Jesus into heaven and we ask for the grace to die in the hands of our Lady. In the Fifth Glorious Mystery, we ask Mary to intercede for us that we may be rewarded with her in heaven. In order to die in the hands of Mary and to be rewarded in heaven, what must we do and how must we live? Did we ever direct our minds and hearts towards heaven, towards lofty thoughts: truth, goodness and beauty? Each week how much time have we reserved for the kingdom of heaven to attend mass, to pray and to do good works? Or are we just preoccupied with worldly things, with no time for God, for family, for works of piety and charity?
Prayers asking her to teach to love things heavenly:
O Mary! Mother of the Assumption..
In days of old, you loved things of heaven.
You did not dream to be Mother of the savior,
but was willing to accept when requested.
Teach us to open our hearts to receive the word of God
and obey his the holy will.
Also, teach us to seek and love heavenly things as you did. Amen.
John Tran Binh Trong