Revelation 11. 19a; 12. 1 – 6a 10 ab
Psalm: 45
1 Corinthians 15. 20 – 26
Gospel: Luke 1. 39 – 56

A workman on a scaffolding high above the nave of a cathedral who looked down saw a
woman praying before a statue of Mary. As a joke, the workman whispered, “Woman,
this is Jesus.” The woman ignored him. The workman whispered again, more loudly;
“Woman, this is Jesus.” Again, the woman ignored him. Finally, he said aloud.
“Woman, don’t you hear me? This is Jesus.” At this point the woman looked up at the
crucifix and said, “Be still now, Jesus, I ‘ m talking to your mother.”
On this day, a Holy day of Obligation, we recall Our Lady’s assumption into Heaven and
her crowning as Queen. Though the Church has always believed in the Assumption of
Mary, the dogma was only formally defined by Pope Pius XII on 1 November 1950 in
Bull Munificentissimus Deus. Note that Mary was assumed into Heaven – taken up by
the power of God, like Elias and Enoch while Christ ascended into Heaven under His
own power.
Catholic treasure Mary, and are very devoted to her. In Italy and wherever there are
Italian communities in the world, people will celebrate the Assumption of Mary with
colourful processions and firework displays. In Sao Paulo and other parts of Latin
America, decorative canoes will float on rivers through small villages to spread the good
In fact, people everywhere will mark Mary’s Assumption as the culmination of her faith
– filled ‘yes’ to the angel’s invitation to become the mother of God! She decided to place
Jesus at the centre of her life. She challenges us to place Jesus at the centre of our lives
“Mary set out and travelled to the hill country in haste…” (Luke 1:39) is a line that
everyone can easily relate to. It is a journey. Mary is not going for a vacation. She has
just been told that she is to be the Mother of God. And rather than keeping this news to
herself, or wondering how she will cope, she sets out on a journey, to visit her cousin,

Elizabeth – and we have this momentous scene that follows, generally termed as “The
Visitation’. Too often, we think of Our Blessed Mother as a quiet, serene figure – placid
and passive, but here we see her as a woman of action, a person on the move. She is an
individual going places, a woman out on a journey, constantly by necessity travelling,
After this journey to Elizabeth’s, we next find Mary embarking on an arduous trip, while
pregnant, to Bethlehem. Then, she is on the move again, fleeing to Egypt, to escape the
imminent threat of death.
We meet her again, journeying to Jerusalem, where her son goes missing – and we follow
her as she goes in search of him. That whole episode ends with yet another journey, back
to Nazareth. We can’t forget the most difficult of all journeys, as she walked with her
son to Calvary.
Mary, the first disciple, in many ways prefigures all the disciples who will follow –
traveling to spread the gospel and proclaim the Good News. Mary is a woman on a
mission. We can call her the first missionary, one who literally carried Christ to the
Today, on this feast, we celebrate her ultimate journey – her Assumption into heaven.
The woman who spent so much of her life in motion – setting out in haste, searching,
fleeing – finally is given a place “prepared by God”, as Revelation puts it. This day, we
honour that, and honour how God has “looked with favour on his lowly servant.”
Happy Feast of Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary.