Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
1 Corinthians 15:20-27
Once again we encounter these powerful readings for the feast of Mary’s Assumption into heaven. The image of a women clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars is applied to the humble wife of Joseph the carpenter and the mother of Jesus. She is pictured as laboring to bring the Christ into the world and being confronted by a flaming red dragon who would attempt to destroy her Son. But He is rescued from the dragon and snatched up to heaven. We can only echo the cry of the loud voice from heaven: "Now have salvation and power come, the reign of our God and the authority of his Anointed One". The Church stretches the scriptures to understand the role and dignity of this servant of the Lord in her lowliness. Our hearts are moved as Mary proclaims to Elizabeth the greatness of the Lord and as her spirit finds joy in God her savior.
For Mary there is no glorious ascension with awe struck disciples watching, but a hidden and quiet assumption. The Eastern Church speaks of the Dormition of Mary. One night she goes to sleep and awakens bodily in heaven to be greeted and embraced by her Son. What a tender reunion that must have been. May we appreciate all that Mary has done for her Son and how she mothered and sustained the faith of the disciples after the awful death of her Son. She was there for Him and for them and now is there for us. "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death."
Fr. Michael Hoolahan, C.P. is on the staff of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.