Solemnity of the Assumption
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

August 15, 2011 Cycle A
 by Rev. Luke Dundon

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First Reading - Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 45:10-11, 12, 16
Second Reading - 1 Corinthians 15:20-27
Gospel - Luke 1:39-52

Luke writes to explain that
Christ came to save everyone.

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 upon 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 might 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 for ever.  Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

Have you ever looked in the mirror some mornings and just said, "ugh"?  Not looking too stellar today, could use some whitening of the teeth, regret eating that chocolate cake last night . . . not feeling like a million dollars.  You trudge into the kitchen, pull out the coffee bag, start scooping, and then someone perky walks round the corner, "Good morning!"  "Great day, isn't it?"  "I'm feeling terrific!"  That's why we have the sacrament of Confession . . .

But, admittedly, we DO have moments in our lives when we don't look upon ourselves with the great of opinions.  We don't feel so perky about our lives or ourselves.  Seeing someone so joyful and singing the morning doesn't help much either . . .

We might likewise feel a little suspicious of Mary's beautiful song.  Listen to her - - - "the Lord has looked with FAVOR on His lowly servant.  From this day ALL generations will call be BLESSED."  Is Mary acting a little too joyful?  Is she putting herself on a pedestal?  "All generations will call ME blessed" - - - It seems as if Mary is capable of something that *I* could never DREAM of, no much how much coffee I drank . . . how does Mary's Assumption affect me?  What does her Assumption into Heaven mean for me?  For US?

It means EVERYTHING, as long as we realize who's making all this meaningful.  ALL generations DO call her blessed, BECAUSE, she says, the ALMIGHTY is the one who has been behind it all along.  HE has looked with FAVOR upon her - - - and she was willing to return the look!  Because of GOD'S amazing love, and Mary's returning gesture, people for ALL GENERATIONS will call me blessed, BECAUSE of how much God has loved me! 

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, said that when we make the Lord GREAT in our lives, then we OURSELVES will become truly great.  It really is that simple and powerful a message, and it continues today . . .  It's also a message that not everyone wants to accept today - - - when Blessed John Paul II visited Latin America in the 80's, the military dictatorship censored his speech in one particular area, one piece of text which he was going to read - today's Gospel!!!  The world has trouble accepting that God's love for each of us (lowly as we are!) is powerful enough to raise our souls AND our bodies to a life that DEFIES the imagination!  That's where Mary has paved the way!

The Assumption MAY be a mystery, but the humble heart will understand this truth.  The lowly heart will want to SING to this news.  With our body and soul, we SHOULD sing out every time we come to Mass, for it lightens our heart, reminding us of the victory and the RESURRECTION which can also be ours.  Through the great things that our Lord has done and CONTINUES to do for each one of us, HE TOO looks upon us with FAVOR, with LOVE.  So let us imitate Mary's example, proudly singing in Joy at this and EVERY Mass.  Indeed, all generations SHOULD call US blessed, for HE has blessed us with so much, HE has been so very good to us, and He's proved it in our Blessed Mother.  Mary, our Blessed Lady assumed into Heaven, pray for us, your children.  Amen.

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