Homily Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary Culmination of God's blessings

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Homily Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

 

Reading 1: In his vision the author of Revelations sees Mary in heaven, crowned with 12 stars, representing the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 Apostles. She is clothed with the sun signifying that she is glorified. At the same time, he realizes that this woman is Mary the Mother of Jesus, the Messiah. He also realizes that Satan, symbolized by the dragon, stands in opposition to God’s plan, seeking to destroy the child birthed by Mary.

 

This child as Messiah dies, rises and ascends to the heavens to be seated as Lord at the right hand of the Father. With his death, resurrection and ascension, he has saved the world and established the Kingdom of God. For he is the Anointed One, who has all power and authority.

 

Satan is defeated and seeks to vent his anger against the woman who bore the Messiah. But she is protected by God until the say she dies and ascends into heavens, where she is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth. Satan, in turn, seeks to destroy those who follow Jesus. The Book of Revelation was written to give them encouragement. Thought they may suffer for the name of Jesus, if they remain faithful, they shall experience the same victory that Mary experiences, life eternal with God.

 

Gospel: The Gospel reveals an aspect of Mary’s life on earth.  After the annunciation of the angels of being blessed to be the Mother of the promised Messiah. Mary proclaimed herself as the servant of the Lord, committed to do his will. Having heard that her cousin, Elizabeth, was with child, even in her old age, Mary goes to serve Elizabeth during the last stages of her pregnancy.

 

In doing so, Mary became the first evangelizer. For in greeting Elizabeth, the Spirit of Jesus ministered to the child in Elizabeth’s womb. He leapt for joy at the encounter with the Messiah, whom later he will proclaim. Then Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, confirmed to Mary what the angel had told her. She has conceived the Messiah. Elizabeth also affirms Mary’s commitment to do the will of God.

 

Mary, moved by the Spirit, then blesses and praises God for his mighty works in her. She rejoices in the Lord for his blessings to her and the blessings to his chosen people over the ages, since the promise to Abraham.

 

This feast is one of the many blessings that God did in Mary’s life, not because of Mary’s merit, but because of her role in the God’s plan of salvation. Her blessings began with her being conceived free of original sin, her Immaculate Conception. She has been told that she will be the Mother of the long awaited Messiah, whom she conceived by the Holy Spirit, while remaining a virgin perpetually. Her blessings included sharing in the redemption of the world by releasing her Son into the Father’s plan for our salvation. At the cross, she became the Mother of the Church. At Pentecost, she received a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Because she was conceived free from sin by God’s grace and remained free of sin by God’s grace, Mary does not experience the corruption of her body in death. As Jesus was risen and ascended to the Father in glory, Mary is assumed into Heaven after her death.

 

Her assumption is the logical conclusion of her vocation on earth and the way she lived it out in obedience to God. How could the one immaculately conceived, the one who gave flesh to the Messiah, by nurturing him in her womb for nine months, have known corruption in the grave?

All of Mary’s blessings are a sign of God’s providence and love. So she rejoices in God for all that God has done for her.

 

This culmination of Mary’s many blessings is at the same time a new beginning for her in God’s plan. She is crowned by Jesus as Queen of Heaven and Earth. Mary shared in the divine life of God from the initial moment of her conception in the womb of Anne, now she shares in the divine life eternally. She continues her role as the servant of the Lord now by interceding for us, her spiritual sons and daughters.

 

Reading 2 As Christ was raised from the dead and ascended into Heaven, death having no power over hi, so Mary dies and is assumed into heaven. Death has no power over her. Mary’s assumption is the fruit of Christ’s death and resurrection. As Mary now shares in the glory of God with a glorified body, so one day, though we die and our body turns to dust, we will rise from the dead. If we died in Christ, we will rise to eternal glory, sharing in the life of God, given to us in Baptism. We will be in the presence of God eternally. With Paul we will proclaim: “Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?” The resurrection of Jesus and the assumption of Mary are the foretaste of our own resurrection. Our body and soul will be reunited forever in the glory of God. We belong to the Lord.

 

But if we died alienated from God in spite of sharing his life in Baptism, we will rise to eternal alienation from God. So while there is time, we need to continue to live in union with Christ, so that we can die in union with him and be with him forever in glory. For this is our destiny. 

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