Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 14, vigil mass

1 Chronicles 15: 3-4,15-16; 16:1-2
1 Corinthians 15:54b-57
Luke 11:27-28

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

In the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother into heaven we gather to proclaim an important truth.

Mary is the pattern for our salvation.

Here, in this feast day, she is the pattern for the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Her body was not subject to decay at the end of her earthly life. Rather, she was taken body, soul, and spirit into heaven. She is the ecclesial pattern. As it goes with Mary, so it also goes for all the Church.

We believe in the resurrection and in life everlasting. Amen.

Just one little problem for all of us. While, Mary was the spotless virgin predestined to become the mother of God and preserved by grace from sin, and the new Eve who always said “yes” to God, and the ark of the new covenant, that hasn’t been the case with you and with me. How many of us over the age of three are completely without sin?

The human race needs a savior. Someone to overcome our sin and our death. And so we rejoice, also, in this feast because through Jesus we may receive the grace to become pure and spotless like Mary. We must become through the grace of Jesus, like her, Mary, the immaculate one.

This is why, when Jesus heard people say that his mother was blessed because she was his mother, that he offered a slight amplification of her blessing.

He said, rather, “blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” Why? He wasn’t repudiating his mother. On the contrary, he was elevating the particular reason why she was truly blessed. She heard the word of God spoken to her and offered a continuous “yes” to it. Because of that, despite the sorrows she had to endure on this earth, Mary was also a woman who was full of grace, joyful, and blessed. She gave a complete “yes” to God and I believe that she is the most joyful of all God’s creatures. She is the immaculate one. The joyful one. The one who never endured the corruption of death but was rather taken up into heaven body, soul, and spirit.
Now, given a choice, would you rather experience more of the misery and suffering that results from sin? No? I didn’t think so. Don’t ask the logical question that extends from that. So why keep sinning? It only results in misery, death, and then hell.

Rather, do you prefer to be filled with love, joy, peace, kindness, and all the virtues that come from giving our complete “yes” to God and being filled with the Holy Spirit?
Yes, or yes.

Then Mary is the pattern for you. She is the model. She is the blessed one. Do not be afraid, good people, to give your “yes” to God as completely as Mary did.

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