Today we celebrate the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother body and soul into heaven where she now enjoys the title as Queen of heaven and earth. Mary’s assumption into heaven reveals that as her life on earth was lived for God, giving birth to Christ, she now knows and lives the fullness of Life in Christ. As we honor our Blessed Mother today, our own hope is renewed that as she followed the Risen Christ to eternal life, we shall share in this Life of God when our earthly days are complete.
Today, faith informs us anew that Heaven is our origin, Heaven is our final goal, Heaven is our focus during this earthly pilgrimage.
God shared with Mary from birth the grace of knowing the Life of Christ. Mary lived in this fullness of grace all her days, and because of her faith and fidelity, was spared death. I believe one could say she was spared death because the grace of Life in Christ was hers, and therefore she was capable of being immediately assumed into heaven body and soul.
Though not in the same manner as Mary, we too, are given this grace of Life in Christ through Baptism. Mary’s earthly life teaches us how to live according to this grace, so that we live according to the fullness of grace – not looking to be filled with anything else. Mary’s Assumption renews and assures our hope that as we live in Christ, we too, shall share in His resurrection; in the eternal life of God.
Hail Mary, full of grace, teach us this wisdom of living in union with Christ.
As Mary lived her life in constant union with God, we learn that this is God’s desire for each of us. St. Bernard of Clairvaux teaches that two great evils will always be at work to diminish if not destroy this union of the soul with God: 1) an improper love of the things of this world, and 2) an excessive love of self.
The more we cultivate this interior life and union with God the more it is manifest in our exterior life. The more we strive to live and cultivate virtue, such as faith, hope, and love, the more this light and life of Christ will be visible to others around us. Likewise, the more we ignore the life of God in our daily, exterior life, the more the life of Christ and union with God diminishes in our soul – and we find ourselves straying further from our final goal of heaven.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; teach us how to live in union with God.
In the Book of Revelation we read today of a ‘woman clothed with the sun…she was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth…birth to a son… now have salvation and power come and the Kingdom of God.” As every woman who has ever experienced childbirth knows, giving birth to a new life is painful.
Our Blessed Mother gave birth to the world’s savior. She gave birth to the fullness of God’s Kingdom, and she knew pain and sacrifice, none greater than watching her Son give birth to our Life of grace as he gave His life on the cross. Just so, we shall experience pain in giving birth to the life of Christ in us. We shall experience challenge and struggle as we labor to give birth to God’s Kingdom here in this world, in these days.
Christ has told us the reality of being his disciples, namely, if you are going to follow me, you must daily take up your cross. The key is to follow Jesus; to keep our eyes on Christ. If all we focus on is the pain and sacrifice, the Kingdom of God will always be beyond our grasp. But, when, we as Mary, keep our focus on God’s promise – the promise of the Kingdom of God – then we are motivated to live a virtuous life. We have the belief and hope to live the abundance of life that is ours in Christ. Then, we shall know the power of God which is capable of doing immeasurably more that we ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Mary, we turn to you this day asking for your intercession that we may live as true children of God. Help us believe as you, that God’s word to us will be fulfilled. Help us as you, to see the great things that God has done for us. Grant that as we experience God’s mercy in our lives, we may extend mercy to all of our brothers and sisters. Help us be the hand of God that fills the hungry with good things, to be those who come to the help of our brothers and sisters, and so extend the Kingdom of God. Mary, Pray for us, that we may live in such a manner that is worthy of sharing in the fullness of God’s Kingdom for all eternity. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.