Daily Reflection – Aug 15, 2016
Monday 15 August 2016
First Reading: Apocalypse 11:19; 12:1-6, 10
The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold
Psalm 44(45):10-12, 16
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-26
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-56
Today’s Feast: Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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.
In Christ shall all be brought to life. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
How strong is your hope in the promises of God?
Mary is a model of faith and hope for us. And she is among “the first-fruits” of “all those who belong to Jesus” and who share in his triumph (1 Corinthians 15:20-24). There is a venerable tradition dating back to the early church which marks Mary’s “falling asleep” (called the Feast of Dormition in many Eastern churches) and her heavenly birthday when she was received into heaven.
Her reception into heaven is seen as a sign to all believing Christians of the promise Jesus made that we too would be received into paradise. At the last supper Jesus told his disciples that he would prepare a place for them in his Father’s house. “And when I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3).
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. 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.”