Revelations 11:19a;12:1-6a, 10ab
1 Corinthians 15:20-27
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in hastey
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: The meaning of Mary’s Assumption
Today’s readings can help us understand Mary’s holiness and how it affected her physically. They answer the question: How could she pass directly from earth to heaven without experiencing the corruption of death in her body?
Mary was the only human after Adam and Eve who was conceived without inheriting Original Sin. We celebrate this on December 8th, remembering her “Immaculate Conception”. God the Father arranged this so that Jesus the Son — who was completely holy and fully God — could reside within her human body during pregnancy and then live in a very holy family.
This gave Mary an advantage of grace that you and I do not have. Adam and Eve had it, but when faced with temptation, they chose to sin. God had given them deathless life, but they chose a life that included corruption.
As the new Eve, Mary faced temptation but chose to remain close to God. Thus remaining full of God’s grace, she was able to live in complete holiness and never experience within herself the corruption of sin and death. When she reached the end of her time on earth, God’s divine life raised her from the earth and immediately resurrected her earthly body into her glorified body.
To live in God’s grace, we have to cooperate with it by saying no to temptation. Since we fail at this, Jesus died on our behalf so that we can get to heaven anyway, as long as we don’t completely turn away from God’s grace. He gave us the Sacrament of Baptism to free us from the inheritance of Adam and Eve’s Original Sin. But we don’t have to be satisfied with the minimum. God wants to give us much more grace!
We have the Holy Spirit. We have God’s divine life within us so that we can do what the holiness within us wants us to do. Sinning makes us miserable. We don’t actually like sinning, because our true nature, made in the image of God, desires to do what is good.
God gave Mary a ministry that did not end when she was transferred from earth to heaven. Her calling was — and still is — an eternal vocation of sharing the gift of grace that she received from God. Thus, she is able to care for us like a real mother and help us grow in our love for Jesus and in our desire to resist temptations.
Praying the Rosary can give us a direct connection to Mary’s fullness of grace. It’s not just a string of repeated words. Nor is it just a set of meditations on the life of Jesus. It opens our spirits to the Holy Spirit through the assistance of Mary’s prayers. In the Rosary, our souls join hers in magnifying the Lord. When so magnified, his love draws others closer to him, and thus we join Mary in her ministry of giving Jesus to the world.
For a copy of this that can be distributed to others, please visit Catholic Digital Resources at catholicdr.com/calendar/august/assumption-of-mary/
Merciful Father, fill my life with Your Holy Spirit, and may Your light shine into my miseries. So, filled with Your love, like our Blessed Mother, may I take Jesus Christ’s Good News to my neighbors around me. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica