A happy and blessed Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary to one and all! This beautiful feast day celebrates one of God’s pledges to all humankind of our own future glory if we remain faithful to Him and seek His kingdom.
Mary was the first person to receive the salvation of Christ, and we have followed her there.
Mary was the first to enter into the mystery of His incarnation, and we have followed her there.
Mary was the first ordinary human being to enter body and soul into Heaven, and we shall follow her there one day.
I love these stanzas from a traditional hymn:
Death, once the wages owed to sin,
In its defeat deserteth thee;
Thou, consort of thy dearest Son,
In body to the stars art raised.
Higher, resplendent, glorious,
Woman most perfect doth ascend:
Our human nature doth in thee
The peak of every beauty reach.
O Queen triumphant, turn thine eyes
On us exiled from Heaven and thee:
With thee to help us may we reach
The happiness of home in Heaven.
(From the hymn O Prima Virgo Prodita;
translation from the Angelus Press 1962 missal)
And then, there is Mary’s own sublime hymn of praise, the Magnificat:
My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
for He who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm,
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
He has put down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of low degree;
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel,
in remembrance of His mercy,
as He spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and his posterity for ever.
(Luke 1:46-55; translation from the
Revised Standard Version, 2nd Catholic ed.)
I’ve prayed this hymn countless times; it is a standard part of the Divine Office’s evening prayer. But as I heard it proclaimed by our priest during Mass this morning… it took on a whole new power and beauty. It brought tears to my eyes. It just reminded me of how good God has been to me personally… and how Mary has helped me to know Him and His goodness.
Let us thank the Lord for giving us such a good mother, and let us thank our mother for helping us to better know and love her Son.