Reflection for the Twentieth Sunday in the Ordinary Time – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
We know that life on this earth ends in death. As persons of faith we also know the beyond that death begins a new life- life eternal with God. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption and The life of Mary culminated in her being assumed into heaven. According to Church doctrine, Mary, the mother of Jesus, did not go through physical death to new life, but was assumed into new life because of the depth of her faith.
Rather than focus on her maternity or the fact that she is the mother of God, the Second Vatican Council documents stress Mary’ life as a pilgrimage of faith. When we consider Mary as a woman of faith, we recognize in her that same basic attitude of belief which we care striving for, and we feel a certain kinship with her. For Mary, as for as, what the letter to the Hebrews says holds true: only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen ( cf. Heb. Ch. 11).
In the Gospels we do not have extensive descriptions of or stories about Mary. What we do have, however, speaks so powerfully of her faith. Saint Luke’s infancy narratives probably give more information than can be found anywhere else. The reading that is used for today’s Feast contains significant passages about Mary’ s faith.
Mary went in haste to Elizabeth and was greeted with the words, ” Blessed are you among women, blessed is she who trusted that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled ” Mary was blessed because she heard the Word of God and responded to it. She opened herself to it completely that through her the Word became flesh, ” may it be done to me according to your word”. Mary believed that God called her and, even without a guarantee, she said, ” Yes” The core of Mary’s faith was centered bon her acceptance of the promise that God had made to be with her. Faith is belief in a personal God who calls us and who leads us.
Like Mary, the woman of faith, each of us by our own ” Yes” prepares for a life of fullness in God. Our ” heaven” will be the continuation of our relationship with God on earth. At baptism we are called and during our lifetime we respond to that call. When we say, “Yes” we become the body of Christ to others. We can, and do, become impregnated with the Lord Jesus and bring him to life for others. As with Mary, we accept the promise with no guarantee of a smooth journey.
Our walk in faith includes both uncertainties and suffering, as it did with Mary; yet, it positively leads us to a fuller of life -in God. Mary’s Assumption in to Heaven challenges our walk in faith, challenges us to never give up so that we might share someday in that ” special place” prepared for us by God.
May God bless you all
Your brother in Christ