Categories: HomiliesPublished On: August 15th, 2021Tags: , 529 words16 min read
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Here are links to our readings for the day:

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Why do we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary when it is not even in the Bible? Good question. This year the solemnity of the Assumption falls on a Sunday. Remember, a solemnity in the church is the highest of liturgical celebrations. Other solemnities are Christmas and Easter for example. Christmas and Easter we do find in the Bible, so why do we have the Assumption? Because in the Catholic Church we have Tradition. We agree that not everything is in the Bible. For example, the word Trinity is not found in the Bible, but we believe in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit as the Trinity.

The tradition of the Assumption is found in the Bible. In the first reading we hear of a woman clothed with the sun about to give birth to a child destined to rule all the nations. Obviously, the child who rules all nations must be Jesus. And the mother of Jesus is Mary. Revelations also gave the sign of the dragon about to devour the child, but God rescues the mother and child. The dragon is Satan, whom Jesus defeats by His death and resurrection.

In Genesis God proclaims that the woman will crush the head of the serpent, while the serpent will strike at her heal. The serpent does not win but is violently crushed by the woman. In Exodus we discovered the specific instructions God laid out for Moses on building the Ark of the Covenant. Contained in the Ark were the Ten Commandments (the Word of God), a jar of manna (the bread from heaven), and Aaron’s staff (signifying the priesthood). Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant. She can be considered God’s first tabernacle as she carried Jesus in her womb.

In the gospel, Mary gives us the Magnificat. This too comes from tradition. In first Samuel, Hannah prays to God to have a son. His name is to be Samuel. When the child comes Hannah praises God for all He has done for her. Hannah rejoices in her son and in God’s grace. Mary would have been educated using the Bible of her day and would have known Hannah’s prayer to God. I believe she would have had Hannah’s prayer memorized just as priests and sisters today memorize the Magnificat and the Canticle of Zechariah. We recite them every day so that the words of the prayer become who we are. They are embedded in our hearts. And when God grants us special favors or graces, even though we have the words memorized, we celebrate by using the words of Mary.

Every day we should read from scripture to make those words our words, to let the words define who we are. So, when God bestows us with blessings, we can magnify the Lord with our souls just as Mary proclaimed.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen