"This bread is bread before the words of the Sacrament. But when the words of Christ come to it, it is the body of Christ ... Before the words of Christ it is a cup full of wine and water. When the words of Christ become operative, the blood which has redeemed the people is caused to be there." — St. Ambrose
MEDITATION OF THE DAY "To become holy, to become saints, we must of course try as hard as we can to do God's will as it comes to us in a general way that is valid for everyone: through Scripture, the Commandments, and so on. It is also indispensable, as has just been said, to go further: to aspire to know not only what God demands of everyone in general, but also what he wants more specifically of us individually." — Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 19 AN EXCERPT FROM In the School of the Holy Spirit
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Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary
On November 1, 1950, Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary to be a dogma of faith: "We pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma that the immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory." The pope proclaimed this dogma only after a broad consultation of bishops, theologians and laity. There were few dissenting voices. What the pope solemnly declared was already a common belief in the Catholic Church.
We find homilies on the Assumption going back to the sixth century. In following centuries the Eastern Churches held steadily to the doctrine, but some authors in the West were hesitant. However, by the 13th century there was universal agreement. The feast was celebrated under various names (Commemoration, Dormition, Passing, Assumption) from at least the fifth or sixth century. Today it is celebrated as a solemnity.
Scripture does not give an account of Mary's Assumption into heaven. Nevertheless, Revelation 12 speaks of a woman who is caught up in the battle between good and evil. Many see this woman as God's people. Since Mary best embodies the people of both Old and New Testament, her Assumption can be seen as an exemplification of the woman's victory.
Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 15:20 Paul speaks of Christ's resurrection as the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Since Mary is closely associated with all the mysteries of Jesus' life, it is not surprising that the Holy Spirit has led the Church to belief in Mary's share in his glorification. So close was she to Jesus on earth, she must be with him body and soul in heaven.
In the light of the Assumption of Mary, it is easy to pray her Magnificat (Luke 1:46–55) with new meaning. In her glory she proclaims the greatness of the Lord and finds joy in God her savior. God has done marvels to her and she leads others to recognize God's holiness. She is the lowly handmaid who deeply reverenced her God and has been raised to the heights. From her position of strength she will help the lowly and the poor find justice on earth, and she will challenge the rich and powerful to distrust wealth and power as a source of happiness.
"In the bodily and spiritual glory which she possesses in heaven, the Mother of Jesus continues in this present world as the image and first flowering of the Church as she is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise, Mary shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come (cf. 2 Peter 3:10), as a sign of certain hope and comfort for the pilgrim People of God" (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 68).
Sacred Space (stop, slow down, breathe, we're about to receive the Word of God) Daily Prayer - 2016-08-15
What is present to me is what has a hold on my becoming. I reflect on the Presence of God always there in love, amidst the many things that have a hold on me. I pause and pray that I may let God affect my becoming in this precise moment.
It is so easy to get caught up with the trappings of wealth in this life. Grant, O Lord, that I may be free from greed and selfishness. Remind me that the best things in life are free. Love, laughter, caring and sharing.
In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground. Can I see where the Lord has been present?
God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed One."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 45:10, 11, 12, 16 R. (10bc) The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold. The queen takes her place at your right hand in gold of Ophir.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold. Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear, forget your people and your father's house.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold. So shall the king desire your beauty; for he is your lord.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold. They are borne in with gladness and joy; they enter the palace of the king.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
Reading 2 1 Cor 15:20-27
Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death, for "he subjected everything under his feet."
Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia. Mary is taken up to heaven; a chorus of angels exults. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 1:39-56
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."
And Mary said:
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever."
Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ There are moments in all our lives when, just like expectant mothers, we know that we have been blessed. Sometimes it may be only a gradual realisation in difficult circumstances.
▪ Pope Francis opens his Letter: "The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept this offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness." ... "I understand the grief of people who have to endure great suffering, yet slowly but surely we all have to let the joy of faith slowly revive as a quiet yet firm trust, even amid the greatest distress."
▪ "Lord I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace." – Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium 5, 3.
Is there any particular line of this extract which resonates or jars with you?
What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him. .
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity)
_In Christ shall all be brought to life. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
In his famous sonnet "Death, Be Not Proud," John Donne wrote:
Death, be not proud, though
some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful,
for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st
thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death,
nor yet canst thou kill me.
Donne's words could be Mary's too. Death couldn't defeat her either! As the Church teaches, she was taken body and soul into heaven at the end of her life. She was preserved from the normal effects of death, the effects brought about by sin.
Today, as we celebrate Mary's Assumption, we also celebrate the promise of what awaits us: we will one day be in heaven with Jesus. "In Christ," we "shall . . . be brought to life" (1 Corinthians 15:22).
While we're still on earth, we can prepare for that day by learning from Mary's life: she tried to stay close to Jesus. When the angel appeared to her, she said yes to God's invitation to become the mother of God. And from that moment on, she was completely committed to her Son—in raising him, in following his preaching, even in his death. This kind of commitment, as challenging as it can be, is our way to heaven as well.
Though we haven't been preserved from sin as Mary has been, God has nonetheless filled us with his grace and is always with us. He is always ready to help us follow him. He is always ready to forgive us and bring us back to him when we fall.
Ultimately, our destiny is the same as Mary's—eternal life; this is why we can all join John Donne in declaring, "Death, nor yet canst thou kill me." So keep running the race today. Picture your Mother cheering you on from heaven. She's watching with pride and joy as you press on toward the day when you, too, will be crowned with glory.
"Mary, thank you for your example of a life lived close to Jesus! Help me to remain near to him too."
Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10 Psalm 45:10-12, 16 Luke 1:39-56
my2cents: We read today "The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God." And this woman had given birth to a King who would rule with an iron rod, and through whom salvation had come. We read in the 2nd Holy Scripture today "For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life" and at the end it says that the last enemy was defeated....death. The Holy Psalms prays "The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold". The other day, I said gold was not valuable in Heaven, and this should point out an important aspect of the queen...her humility.
In the Holy Gospel today we heard ""Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." And in a world where a young woman gets pregnant, often she feels cursed, as if to say "cursed you are among women and cursed is the fruit of your womb". The devil changes the story, very subtle, but with a trending force of death. What happens then? Humility is lost, and the curse begins, the cursing against God begins. I went to do the HOLY DOORS of Jubilee Year of Mercy with my wife to celebrate our Anniversary this weekend. We traveled to our Diocesan Cathedral, and actually made it to their daily Mass, unplanned, and the following day went to Confessions and Sunday Vigil Mass. Afterwards we went to a riverwalk for dinner and a movie, and saw a comedy show. The movie was rated R for language mostly. During the movie, I saw some young women behind us walk out. I felt like walking out too. The movie used so much blasphemous speech against God by using His name in vain, I was uneasy the whole time, I even told my wife "I'm bored, I'm going outside for a drink". I took my time and coming back would look at the crowds laughing at the comedy movie "this is not funny, you should not laugh at this, or enjoy this". The comedy show was more of the same blasphemous language. Funny, yes, but every time that language was used I was afflicted, and hurt. Why? Don't you remember, I was carrying Christ? How? I had just went to two Holy Sacraments, to participate in the Mercy of God and HIs Preciouis Holy Body in the Holy Eucharist. I'm starting to sound like the Holy Blessed Mother of God...no? Only, she was a million times holier...that is...more humble. When humility enters the place, there is a stark difference to the dark. She is dressed in gold because it is as if dirt in Heaven. She appears to the most humble people on earth...never to anyone else, because no one else can see her in pride.
This Holy Mother of God is like this... I saw a story on TV on how scientists do not believe our moon was always there in our orbit, like it was placed there, and the odds of that occurring are tremendous, and when it appeared, it made all the difference for life on our planet, our world. The sun was there, the earth was there, but the moon was put there to make a difference. The moon reflects the light of the sun. The moon helps the earth stay balanced for proper seasons to occur. The moon helps us see in the dark. The moon gives signs of the times. The moon is much like the Mother of God, reflecting the Son of God, and was put here on earth and is in Heaven, helping us see the signs of the times throughout history, coming in times of dire need of salvation...that is...humility. When ravaging nuclear wars were peaking, she appeared and asked for prayers, rosaries, and when Aztecs were killing each other, sacrificing children, she appeared asking for faith and prayers. If she appears soon again, it will be only to ask for prayers and faith against the indecency of the world we live in that is leading us away from God. Because she wants us with Him and closer to Him, she shows the way in the dark.
We are called to be the Christ carriers to the world, to glow because of what we carry inside. Let us go 4th