Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Ever since the earthly life of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and thus the Mother of God, ended, the Church has believed that she had entered Heaven, not only her soul, but her body as well. This is called the Assumption of Mary into heaven and this is the solemnity that we celebrate this evening [morning] with the liturgy of the Church[1].

It is important to remark that Mary did not enter heaven on her own: it is God, Jesus, who came to get her and take her with him into Paradise. This is why the term assumption is used, which comes from the Latin assumere, which means "to take to oneself"[2].

It is true that no one saw the Lord come to take Mary into heaven with him, but the story is told that, when Mary had breathed her last breath, Saint Thomas the Apostle was not present at the bedside of the Mother of God. Having arrived a little later, Saint Thomas asked that the tomb of Mary be opened to him in order that he might be able to contemplate her one last time, and this was granted. But, to the amazement of everyone present, when the tomb was opened, Mary had disappeared, both body and soul... Whence comes the belief, an incontestable one, in the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, both body and soul[3].

So, today we celebrate the ending of Mary's earthly life, when her body joins her flesh, her Son, in heaven. In the Assumption, Mary shares in her Son's resurrection. Our prayer today is that when we come to the end of our lives, and our judgment is complete, after a time of purification, the time in purgatory, we too will share in the life of Christ's resurrection, with Mary,

We differ from Mary in really only one respect: that she was always full of grace, because of this she was able to believe the promise made her by the Lord because she never lost vision of that wonderful gift of grace as we so often do. To regain that grace, my brother, my sister, we must repent, beg forgiveness of our sins, and come to confession to receive those blessings again. Mary has no need to do this. From her flesh, the Word became flesh. Today we celebrate that her love and her devotion and her piety and her faith are crowned, we celebrate her entry into heaven…

During today's Eucharist, let us turn our eyes towards heaven, where Jesus and Mary await us, in the company of all the saints who make up, for all eternity, the Mystical Body of Christ!

Jesus gave Mary to us to be our Mother. He wants us to call upon our mom in times of need. She wants us to call upon her for help. And that is what we are doing today. We are praying to our mother Mary to help us. Help our country make moral choices. Help our people to ascend beyond the sex culture, Help us to reflect her Son’s Love to all. Help us to be a parish that really loves the Eucharist.

And you know, we Catholics have got to stop being over concerned with the misinterpretations and out and out lies perpetuated by anti-Catholics. We don’t worship Mary. We do pray to her. We recognize her love and care in our lives. We say the Rosary meditating on the mysteries of her Son and asking Mary to pray for us sinners. We recognize that it is Jesus’ life and power that saves us, but we also recognize that Mary was given to us at the foot of the cross as our mother.

We call upon her to pray to her son, Jesus, to extend the various manifestations of His Love among us. Amen ■


[1] Sunday 15th August, 2010, Assumption. Readings: Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold—Ps 44(45):10-12, 16. 1 Corinthians 15:20-26. Luke 1:39-56.
[2] When one speaks of the entry of Jesus, body and soul, into Heaven, one uses the term ascension, which comes from the Latin ascendere, which means "to go up", since Jesus, being God himself, did not need anyone to come and get him: he ascended by himself into Paradise.
[3] This belief endures to the present day, although not without causing a few problems in the relations between Catholics and Christians of other confessions. Much more than a belief, it is now a dogma of the faith, ever since Pope Pius XII, on the first of November, 1950, proclaimed the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, both body and soul, to be a dogma that every Catholic Christian must absolutely believe, under penalty of being excluded from the communion of the Church.

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris