Monday 15 August 2022 – ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY – LOVING DAUGHTER OF THE FATHER

1st Reading: Rev 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. A great sign appeared in the sky, 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 and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed One.”

2nd Reading: 1Cor 15:20-27

Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the first fruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death, for Ahe subjected everything under his feet.”

Gospel: Lk 1:39-56

Mary set out and travelled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on 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. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.” Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY: The Catholic Church teaches us that the Virgin Mary “having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” The Assumption of Mary is the culmination of the exaltation of her earthly life. Beginning with her immaculate conception and until her assumption into heaven, God has showered upon her many privileges that no other human persons on earth could think of. One can assert without any doubt that Mary is the feminine face of God who transmits the love, concern and compassion of God to his people. Mary accompanies Jesus in his saving works and so shares his heavenly destiny in body and soul. No other human persons on earth could be considered closer to the trinitarian God than Mary. She is the loving daughter of the Father, the caring mother of His Son and the faithful spouse of the Holy Spirit. Her unwavering faith in God, her obedience to word of God and her commitment to the cause of God are lessons for us to emulate in our lives. Let us thank the Lord for giving her as our mother and model for our Christian life.

Prayer: Lord help me to live a righteous life so that I may rejoice with Virgin Mary in your kingdom.

*****

VICTORY IN JESUS: In the Old Testament, Adam was enticed to sin by the devil and his sin brought death. However, as death came through Adam, resurrection has come through Christ. The Gospel reminds us of meeting between Mary and Elizabeth and we see joy in both as they anticipate the birth of Christ. Mary, from the very moment of her conception, co-operated with God in working out the salvation of the world. From conception, she was full of grace, was touched by God, and protected from sin so that she might be worthy to bear the Word of God as flesh, and to remit Him to the world. The coming of Christ was the fulfilment of his promises to Abraham our father. Through him all the powers of evil have been defeated together with sin and death.

****

PARTAKER IN GOD’S PLAN: The Assumption means that God who planned the very first moment of Mary’s life with such extraordinary care, also planned her very last moment just as carefully. At the first moment of her life, by a very special privilege of God, Mary was preserved free from the stain of sin. At the last moment, by another very special privilege she was preserved free from the corruption of the grave. At the end of her life Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven. In the Immaculate Conception the emphasis is on the soul. In the Assumption the emphasis is on the body. Both are important. They were made for each other. At death, there is only a temporary separation. Body and soul will be reunited in the Resurrection. The Assumption means that the body that participated in the battle of life will also participate in the victory. The lesson of the Assumption is that the whole person, body and soul, participates in the battle of life and the whole person, body and soul, will share the victory. Let us ask Mary, assumed into heaven, to obtain for us the grace to respect and discipline the body so that one day we may join her body and soul in heaven.