Wednesday, August 15, 2018

⛪Mary Remained

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Seeds of the Unknown

The seeds of the unknown are the most difficult to trust. Initially mysterious, we struggle against the unknown due to our strong human desire for certitude and security. If we are able to truly trust that God alone suffices, the journey of the unknown seed can be deep, exciting and real. We must trust, risk, and go the distance. The deep true part of ourselves knows us better than we know ourselves. Dare we trust the possibility that it is in what we dream of for others and ourselves that we discover seeds of the unknown and God's dream in us attempting to be made visible?

—from Your Spiritual Garden: Tending to the Presence of God


"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

"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
In the School of the Holy Spirit


August 15th is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and a Holy Day of Obligation. It is an ancient feast of the Church, celebrated universally by at least the 6th century. According to tradition, all of the Apostles were present when Our Lady came to the end of her earthly life and peacefully went to be with Christ in Heaven, an event also known as the "Dormition of Mary." The tomb where her body was laid was found empty, her body being taken up into heaven a short time after she passed into eternal life. The Church's historic belief that the Virgin Mary is presently in heaven reigning as the Queen of Heaven and Earth, in body and soul, next to her Divine Son, was pronounced as infallible dogma in 1950 by Pope Pius XII. The bodily Assumption of Jesus' mother into heaven is a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time.

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Romans 5:1-5


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Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

Saint of the Day for August 15

On November 1, 1950, Pope 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 Testaments, 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 first fruits 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 believe 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.


Reading 1 Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

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."

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.


Meditation: Luke 1:39-56

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity)

He has looked with favor on his lowly servant. (Luke 1:48)

What is humility? When we think of a humble person, we might picture a quiet, unassuming person. Maybe we think of a "shrinking violet," someone who doesn't take risks because he or she lacks confidence. We may think of someone who, when complimented, protests that they are no good. But is this true humility?

Let's look at Mary, whose feast we celebrate today. It's true that when the spotlight was on her, she pointed to God. It's also true that she knew all blessings come from God. But none of this made her shrink into the shadows!

Imagine a young woman, early in her pregnancy, making a trip by herself—most likely on foot and definitely without any of the conveniences of modern-day travel—to visit her cousin in the rugged hill country of Judah. That's pretty gutsy!

The gospels are full of examples of Mary's active humility: saying yes to becoming pregnant even before she and Joseph had come together as husband and wife; traveling as an older widow to Jerusalem to be with Jesus during his ministry and at his crucifixion; risking arrest by associating with the other disciples after Jesus had ascended into heaven.

Mary was decisive, active, and bold, but this didn't mean she was proud! She simply chose to do what God called her to do. She knew her strength wasn't enough to carry out God's plan, but that didn't stop her. She didn't try to back out because she was too weak or lowly. Rather than disqualifying herself out of a false sense of modesty, she forged ahead and staked her life on God's faithfulness.

God is calling you to help build his kingdom, and he is asking you to do it in humility. A humble person doesn't shrink in fear but takes action with faith and trust in God. As we celebrate Mary's assumption today, let's see her entrance into heaven as the crowning jewel of her humility. Yes, God truly has "lifted up the lowly" (Luke 1:52). She who stepped forward in faith is now exalted as queen of heaven and earth!

"Jesus, you raised up your Mother to sit with you in heaven because of her humble yet decisive yes. Help me to live that same humility."

Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10
Psalm 45:10-12, 16
1 Corinthians 15:20-27



We began today "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." The Mother of God. This image is Our Lady of Guadalupe who appeared in Mexico. The son's rays are what is all around her, and the moon at her feet. There are stars on her mantle. She is pregnant. She will bear the King of Kings. Through Mary, the New Ark of the New Covenant, enters the King of the World. God had fashioned the way. He shows us the way, through...humility. Through the least. Through, the most obedient and most chaste and most pure.

Let us pray: "The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold. So shall the king desire your beauty; for he is your lord." You too are called to the beauty and joy of the Lord. How else would He desire His Holy Church and the Bride of Christ? And for this we have Christ our Lord.

"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."
He must reign. He must be Lord. He must be King of all...our hearts. We must remain in Him, so that we too may experience the resurrection, that what He has provided by coming to live as we do, human life, to eternal life.

In the Holy Gospel we hear Saint Elizabeth proclaim to Mary: ""Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." and then "Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled." Mary believed. She always believed. She lived a life of complete belief. Total faith and total surrender to our Lord. Completely His.

Mary's magnificat is a work of art. She is a complete mastery of God's marvelous works. The potter knows no boundaries. She says "He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation." Not only is she a prophet, but she is a proclaiming angelic soul. They say she always had a peace about her. She is the only one in the bible that was not afraid when an angel appeared, an ArchAngel. Perhaps she was already accustomed to angels. Who else could bear the child of God?

Her life from childhood had always been about God. Legend has it that she was offered to live in the temple with other virgins to offer their lives to God. This was her whole life. The life of Mary is a story of the life of Christ, because that would be her role. Indeed, that is our role. To be the Christ bearer, to be the ones bringing light to the world. Just opening headlines this morning, it would seem the world is still in turmoil, spiritually. Financially good, spiritually suffering. It would seem that way. But in the greatest darkness comes the most beautiful light. This is evident by Christ. On the cross. Even Christmas comes on the longest of nights, for the most beautiful of lights. Mary is glad and rejoices in the Lord "He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty."

Are you hungry for more? You are hungry for Christ. Mother Mary is a provider for Jesus. She was dirt poor. What could she provide for the Child of GOD? There is a horrible statistic roaming that says to bring a child into the world and to raise him, you will spend about 1 million dollars, that's the cost per child. Who has that kind of money? Especially in 3rd world countries? So what could a dirt poor young woman offer to God? Love.
That's all that it would take, but a love that is kind and courageous. The kind of love that can only be brought about by a life witness to God. The kind that proclaims what she proclaims when she says today "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior..." How did she say these things? It was Christ inside, Jesus inside of her soul. The Holy Spirit already manifested. And this beauty of God, our Blessed Mother, was taken body and soul into Heaven. False reports abound trying to make her impure, trying to say they've even found her bones, all things to try to make even our Lord false. But those reports are for those that don't want to believe. Mary believed.
Mary believes we can reach heaven and tries with all her might to help us get there to be with God.
Let us go to Mass today, to be with God and to have Mary present, in joyful expectation as the Visitation to Elizabeth. She was there to help Elizabeth for the remainder of her pregnancy. She was there to give glory to God.
That is our role, a high honor in our life....a life of Christ...



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