Aug 15 2020 Reflection
Saturday 15 August 2020
First Reading: 1 CHR 15:3-4, 15-16; 16:1-2
Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.
PS 132:6-7, 9-10, 13-14
Second Reading: 1 COR 15:54B-57
Gospel Reading: LK 11:27-28
Today’s Note: Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
While Jesus was speaking,
a woman from the crowd called out and said to him,
“Blessed is the womb that carried you
and the breasts at which you nursed.”
“Rather, blessed are those
who hear the word of God and observe it.”
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country. (Luke 1:39)
Today we celebrate the truth that Mary, body and soul, has joined her son, Jesus, in heaven. For centuries, this belief had been a beloved tradition, but it hadn’t yet been defined by the Church as revealed dogma. That didn’t happen until 1950 when Pope Pius XII declared her assumption to be an official teaching of the Church. That declaration was the fruit of years of work as the Holy Spirit guided Church leaders and theologians to a deeper and clearer understanding of Mary’s role in the Scriptures.
The Holy Spirit was an intimate and guiding force in Mary’s own life as well. Imagine Mary, a teenager, having to explain an unexpected pregnancy to her parents, to Joseph, and to her neighbors. We might expect her to act as any typical teenager would: isolate herself, panic over the way her life has just been turned upside down, give in to fear for her safety, and worry about her reputation.
But Mary was far from a typical teenager. She didn’t sit around feeling afraid or sorry for herself. Instead, she listened to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and found the courage to put someone else’s needs before her own. She immediately set off to visit her older cousin Elizabeth, who also was pregnant.
And what happened when Mary greeted Elizabeth? The Holy Spirit revealed to Elizabeth that her cousin was bearing her people’s longed-for Messiah, and he filled Mary’s heart with such joy that a beautiful prayer, called the Magnificat, burst forth from her.
If you feel stuck in a problem, think about Mary’s example and turn to the Holy Spirit. You’ll know he is helping you if, instead of brooding over the situation, you feel a desire to get out of yourself and help the people around you. You’ll know it’s the Spirit if you get a sense that God is with you in this situation. Mary’s yes to the Spirit was a constant theme in her life, and it can be for you too.
“Mary, pray that more and more people will turn to the Holy Spirit as you did.”