August 15, 2021
Revelation 11. 19a; 12. 1 – 6a 10 ab
1 Corinthians 15. 20 – 26
Gospel: Luke 1. 39 – 56
The assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven has long been held as an important
Catholic belief. The belief was not defined as dogma, however, until 1950 by Pope Pius XII. The
dogma teaches that Mary, who was without sin, was taken, body and soul, into the glory of
The Gospel for this holy day recalls Mary’s actions after the announcement of Jesus’ birth by the
Angel Gabriel. Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth who is also with child. Elizabeth greets
Mary with full recognition of the roles they and their unborn children will play in God’s plan for
salvation. Mary responds to Elizabeth’s greeting with her song of praise, the Magnificat. Both
women recall and echo God’s history of showing favor upon the people of Israel. Mary’s
Magnificat, in particular, echoes the song of praise offered by Hannah, the mother of Samuel.
The Gospel for this day reminds us that Mary’s Assumption into heaven is best understood with
regard for the full spectrum of Catholic beliefs about the person of Christ and the person of Mary.
Only Mary, who was born without stain of original sin—the Immaculate Conception—could give
birth to Christ, who is fully God and fully human. This is called the Immaculate Conception.
Because of Mary’s role in God’s plan of salvation, she does not suffer from the effects of sin,
which are death and decay. Mary is the first to receive the fullness of the redemption that her son
has won for all of humanity. The Church, therefore, recognizes Mary as the sign of the salvation
promised to all.
Today’s Gospel highlights Mary’s faith. Mary’s faith enabled her to recognize the work of God in
her people’s history and in her own life. Her openness to God allowed God to work through her so
that salvation might come to all. Mary is a model and symbol of the Church. May we be like
Mary, open and cooperative in God’s plan of salvation.
It is a joyful day for Catholics as the Assumption celebrates what each of us hopes and expects to
happen: the Lord of the harvest will one day, in the fullness of time, raise our earthly bodies from
the ground and join them to our souls in the kingdom of Heaven for all eternity. The Church has
been observing the Assumption of Mary into Heaven as a holy day since about the 4 th century.
Early celebrations of the Assumption coincided with late summer harvest festivals, honoring
Mary as the “first fruit” harvested from God’s creation at the same time of year that the first fruits
of the field were being harvested. Homilies on the Assumption can be found going back to the
sixth century. The feast was celebrated under various names (Commemoration, Dormition,
Passing, Assumption) from at least the fifth or sixth century.
In 1950, Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical Munificentissimus Deus (Most Bountiful God),
dogmatically defined the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this teaching, he states that
“at the end of her earthly course, Mary was assumed in heavenly glory body and soul.”
“This feast shows not only that the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary remained incorrupt, but
that she gained a triumph out of death, her heavenly glorification after the example of her only
begotten Son, Jesus Christ,” Pope Pius XII wrote.
The Pope proclaimed this dogma only after a broad consultation of bishops, theologians, and laity.
What the Pope solemnly declared was already a common belief in the Catholic Church. The
dogma of the Blessed Mother’s assumption, the Pope wrote, “is contained in the deposit of
Christian faith entrusted to the Church.” The proof, he said, can be found in early sacred writings,
in the wisdom of theologians and doctors of the Church, and in the minds of the faithful.
“Since our Redeemer is the Son of Mary, he could not do otherwise, as the perfect observer of
God’s law, than to honor not only his eternal Father but also his most beloved Mother. And, since
it was within his power to grant her this great honor, to preserve her from the corruption of the
tomb, we must believe that he really acted in this way.”
Mary has been given a royal and very important place in the economy of Salvation, next to none
other than Jesus. Why is this importance to Mary? She is indeed the Mother of Jesus. Why was
she chosen o be His Mother? And why the Church venerates her and gives her all honor by
celebrating her feasts like today’s? There is an awesome factor behind all these glories. First of
all, Mary was a woman of contradictions Though she was a typical Jewish lady, socially and
culturally unliberated woman, yet in her h art she was the only woman among all women who has
been fully liberated. She was a virgin but mother; She was a simple country girl of Nazareth but a
Queen of the whole human race; and She was very poor but the richest of all second only to Jesus.
Mary was a woman of faith, a person of dreams. Look of her song of exculpation. Everything is
her dream about herself, about others, and about God. Listen to Elizabeth what she says about
Mary. “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken by the Lord would be fulfilled.” She
believed her dreams One day would come true. When she sang the hymn of ‘Magnificat’ she was
dreams. More than men, women are gifted for dreaming. They have to because, it’s they who are
the spirit and source of life toward their husbands, children and even the society. Mary dreamt
about herself, about her Son, about his future, about God, and about her future rewards from the
Lord. She dreamt also about the new heaven and new earth through her Son. She did not just
dream but she lived in those dreams, worked with those dreams as much as she could.
Mainly with the spirit of such faith, she made proper decisions in her life, especially at crucial
times. For example, she made proper decision at Annunciation time. She accepted the invitation
of God to bear her Son after much deliberation. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done
unto me according to your word.” She also at the time of her Son’s crucifixion, death and burial
decided to lean on God’s favour and will even though she could not perceive why all these had
gone out of hand. Added to these, undoubtedly in her Son’s absence, she decided to join with His
crew to pray and wait for His resurrected Spirit to fall upon her. Surely at her death she would
have decided for God and His Son in the Spirit.
On the feast day of Mary’s Assumption, we celebrate her faith, her motherhood, her death and her
victory. Also we celebrate, as the church the Body of Christ, our own faith, and our dream
journey. We convince ourselves, all that we decide with our faith on behalf of God in Jesus,
would one day lift us up to God’s heaven as Mary’s body was assumed to Heaven. Let us become
messengers of Mary to witness her importance as a girl, as a woman, as a mother and as a faithful
daughter of God. We need her. The entire Christianity needs her. Let us go to Jesus through
God bless. Happy Feast of Assumption of Our Blessed Mother.