The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Today’s solemn feast of Mary’s entry into heaven lets us celebrate the destiny that God offers to all of us.
Actually, we celebrate our destiny every time we are at Mass.
In every Mass, God sends the Spirit upon our offerings of bread and wine that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The same happened at our baptism: God gave us his Spirit, adopting us as children of God.
Because he has given us his Spirit, God counts us as his children.
Mary received God’s Holy Spirit in a special way.
In the town of Nazareth, God gave the Holy Spirit to the Virgin Mary so that the Son of God was conceived in her body.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, the Son of God took his own sinless flesh and blood from Mary.
Like mother, like Son.
However, Mary’s special holiness does not consist in her Son being like her.
Rather, her unique holiness consists in her being like her Son.
Like Son, like mother.
Forty days after Jesus rose from the dead, he passed from our sight into the glory of heaven, but he did not leave behind his living, glorious and STILL HUMAN Flesh and Blood.
In a similar way, when Mary’s earthly life had run its natural course, she, the flesh and blood mother of God, was taken away, soul and body, into the glory of heaven.
Mary being taken into heaven, which we celebrate today, is also OUR destiny.
This destiny is already fully realized in Mary.
It has also been PROMISED to us, and it has ALREADY begun.
The word of the Lord in the letter to the Ephesians [2:6-7] says that God:
both with and in Christ Jesus
raised us up
and GAVE us a place in the heavens,
that in the ages to come
he might display the great wealth of his favor,
manifested by his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
All this already began to be true in our baptism, when by the power of the Holy Spirit we became God’s children: we became God’s flesh and blood.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary is the flesh and blood mother of God.
She is our mother, too.
Jesus gave us to Mary at the foot of his cross, and he gave her to us, saying: Behold, your mother!
Like mother, taken bodily into heaven, so also one day the children.
In a few moments, here at the altar, we will ask God to send the Holy Spirit upon our offerings of bread and wine.
The power of God will again be present among us, just as at our baptism, at the first Pentecost and just at Nazareth when the Spirit and power of God came down upon Mary.
Here in a few moments the Holy Spirit will come down upon our bread and wine, and God will make them for us into the flesh and blood of his Son, so that by flesh and blood he can take us into his own life and glory.
God is here for us, and so the Church borrows the joyful song of Mary’s fulfillment.
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.
Almighty God has done great things for US.
Praiseworthy, glorious, blessed and holy is his Name forever and ever.
Turn. Love. Repeat.
Dear Readers of “Turn. Love. Repeat.”
California where I reside had a new law go into effect on January 1, 2020. California Assembly Bill 5 forbids freelance writers, editors and photographers from providing more than 34 content submissions to a media organization per year unless the organization hires the freelancer as a salaried employee. Patheos is a media organization, and I am a freelancer. So now I must limit my posts to 34 per year, or 1 post about every 10 days.
So as not to exceed my legal limit, between my postings here at Patheos I will publish my “extra” pieces at my personal blog, Monk Notes.