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15th August - The Assumption of Our Lady

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Readings: Apoc 11: 19a, 12: 1-6a, 10ab; Ps 45; 1 Cor 15: 20-27; Lk 1: 39-56

What is the significance of the event we celebrate in today's feast, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary? Well, starting with perhaps the most obvious, Our Lady, by an exceptional privilege, has been assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. This fact in itself is a cause for celebration – it is a natural and good human reaction to delight in another’s good, and this truly unique gift which has been bestowed on Our Lady is no exception.

But it’s not just the fact that Mary is in heaven, body and soul, but the way in which she came to be in this state. For we do not celebrate her Assumption as the achievement of some kind of individual struggle, but as God’s gift, the culmination of that fullness of his grace by which she was preserved from every stain of sin, and so fitted to be the first to receive in its fullness the reward won for us by the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Word of God whom she bore.

Thus, then, the Assumption of Our Lady is also a sign for us Christians, who, though not to the same degree, have been given a share in God’s grace. By assuming Mary into heaven, God not only gives us cause to celebrate her special place in the history of our salvation, but reminds us of what that salvation in Christ ultimately aims towards – eternal life in him, united with Our Lady and all the Saints.

As we rejoice in this great privilege which was granted to Our Lady, then, let us seek her prayers that we too, and all our loved ones, may at the last be raised, by the death and resurrection of Christ her Son, to the glory of heaven.

Gregory Pearson OP


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