We have an abundance of riches to ponder in this feast of the Assumption of Mary.
As the ark contained the tablets of the Commandments, so Mary’s body contained the Savior of the world, the Son of God. In a vision of transfigured glory John sees a woman with child surrounded with the lights of heaven: the sun, the moon and the stars. She gives birth to a son destined to rule the nations. Our reading concludes with the resounding proclamation that salvation has come and God’s kingdom is firmly in place.
Paul notes that Jesus’ resurrection is the foundation of our hope for eternal life for our whole person, body and soul. The Church believes that Mary’s assumption is the first realization of the full impact of Jesus’ resurrection.
Luke recounts the visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. Among the riches of this familiar passage we have an answer to why we call Mary blessed. Ordinarily we think Mary blessed because she is the Mother of God.
She has been assumed body and soul to heaven where her son has crowned her queen. But Elizabeth puts it at a more fundamental level, before Mary conceived Jesus. “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Mary believed in God’s promises to her and to her people. May we have that same faith ourselves, faith that God’s kingdom has com and faith that we are destined for glory body and soul. May we proclaim as Mary did that “… the Almighty has done great things for us…”
Fr. Michael Hoolahan, C.P. is on the staff of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.