A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
Mary set out
and traveled 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.
Good News Reflection: Sharing in Mary’s glory and grace
Mary, the Blessed Mother of our Savior, lived a life full of God’s grace. Today we celebrate the fact that she never lost this grace and therefore was “assumed” or transferred directly to heaven with a glorified body.
Mary was graced in a very powerful way so she could become pregnant with Jesus. God cannot dwell in a body that’s been corrupted by sin. Although God today is able to dwell in us sinners, it’s only because of our baptisms, which Mary did not have the opportunity to receive. Baptism frees us from the original, death-producing sin of Adam and Eve. Thanks be to God, Mary didn’t need baptism: He created her through an immaculate conception, i.e., she was conceived without humankind’s inheritance of sin.
Mary remained full of this special grace so that she could care for Jesus and guide him as he matured. Then she relied on it to care for the first Christians, a continuation of her ministry to Jesus. And she continues this caring support even now in her ministry to us.
Therefore, we can ask her to share with us the grace that helped her to resist sin. Consider the grace that’s available in the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary:
The first one is the Resurrection of Jesus. As it says in today’s second reading, “Christ has been raised from the dead…. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be given life.” We enter into Christ’s life not only by believing that he died to give us life, but by imitating him to remain in his life.
The second Glorious Mystery is the Ascension of Jesus. As it says in today’s first reading, “Her child was snatched up to God and his throne…. Now have salvation and power come … and the authority of Christ the Anointed One.” Even though the child Jesus respected Mary’s authority as a parent, she freely gave herself over to his authority from the moment she said “yes, let it be done to me as the Father wills”. The more we let Jesus have authority in our lives, the more grace we receive.
The third Glorious Mystery is the Descent of the Holy Spirit. As it says in our Gospel reading today, “Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out … ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.'” It is only through the Holy Spirit that we are able to become aware of Christ’s presence and blessings and grace in our lives.
The fourth Glorious Mystery is the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. As it says in today’s first reading, “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet.” Mary is our sign of what being a holy Christian — a grace-filled Christian — really means.
The fifth Glorious Mystery is the Crowning of Mary as Our Queen. From the moment of her “yes” at the Annunciation, the Holy Spirit has been her Spouse, so of course she is Queen of the Universe. As it says in today’s responsorial Psalm, “The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.” As our queen, she intercedes for us to the King. From this, much grace flows. And so we say to her:
Hail, holy Queen! Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn, then O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!
For a copy of this that can be distributed to others, please visit Catholic Digital Resources at catholicdr.com/calendar/August/grace.htm.
Beloved Jesus, I ask that just like our Mother, Mary Most Holy, I may be a messenger filled with the Holy Spirit, bearing the Spirit’s anointing to those who trust in You. Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica