Solemnity of the Assumption
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
In the passage from Revelation John presents for our prayer a series of images. We start with a vision of God’s temple in Heaven. As the main doors slowly open we see in the center of the temple the Ark of the Covenant. The image brings home to us that Church is rooted in the Old Testament and can only be appreciated by those who deeply understand the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. One of the most basic things we can say about Jesus is that he was a Jew. Synagogue and temple formed Jesus’s religious sense and provided the deepest insights of who his Father really was. When we realize this we are encouraged to pick up and read the book that that Jesus studied and learned.
The second image is that of a woman. She is presented clothed with the glory of the sun, the moon under her feet, and wearing a crown of twelve stars. She is in labor to give birth. Immediately an opposing sign is presented of a huge red dragon threatening to devour her child, a son destined to rule all the nations. God preserves the newborn and sets him on his throne. The woman flees into the desert where there is a place of safety prepared by God. Many interpretations have been made of this passage.
Is the woman the church? Is she Mary? Most agree that the son is Jesus. As we pray over this image let us believe that the final victory of Jesus over the huge red dragon or Satan is sure.
John’s final image is the loud voice from heaven. We are immediately transported to the Jordan where Jesus receives his mission from the Father and to the mountain of the Transfiguration where Jesus, standing between Moses and Elijah. has his life’s work is approved by the Father. In this passage the voice declares the final victory: the Kingdom of God coming in saving power as every knee bows to the authority of the Anointed One. We are challenged to accept that the victory is ours. Let us prayerfully thank Jesus for all the blessings and graces of our lives.
Fr. Michael Hoolahan, C.P. is on the staff of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.