Daily Readings Reflection for 8/15/09


Reflection on the Daily Readings for 8/15/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Revelation 11:19-21:1-6; Psalm 45: I Cor. 15:20-26.
Luke 1:39-56. Lectionary # 622:

Mary’s Assumption into heaven is celebrated today with great solemnity.
Many in religious orders and congregations have taken final vows on this
day.  The feast is the culmination of her journey of faith lived with Jesus
here on earth and with his disciples and relatives.  Her presence in the
upper room was the last historical reference to her in the Bible, but we do
have the woman of Revelation who is a symbolic description of Mary even
though primarily it refers to the Church.  We know from the long
development of thought about her in the Scriptures that she is the Mother
of the Church and is intimately bound up with the scene at the foot of the
Cross with the Beloved Disciple. For the Fourth Gospel that scene is
Pentecost as well as the death of Jesus. He is lifted up to the bosom of
the Father as was indicated already in the Prologue of John.  Mary, now at
the hour of her death, is assumed into heaven.  The first reading speaks of
a woman clothed with the sun with twelve stars around her head, the moon
beneath her feet.  She like her Son has conquered the huge dragon with the
help of those who believed in Jesus. He already had conquered death, sin,
and the serpent.

Elizabeth declares Mary to be a blessed woman for having believing in the
word that God spoke to her. That Word became flesh in her and prepared
John the Baptist even before his birth to be the precursor and herald of
the Messiah. Mary was truly blessed then for her “Yes” at the Annunciation
carries through the rest of her life even when she does not fully
understand her son’s mission.  Her pilgrimage of faith is over and she is
taken into heaven and will be crowned there as the Queen of Heaven and
Queen of the Apostles (the twelve stars).

Just as Jesus, the son of Mary, was raised from the dead, she is the first
fruits of his resurrection through the pure graciousness of God and her
continually ascent to be the faithful mother of Jesus.   Both the Easter
Churches and the Western honor her in the “Dormition” or falling asleep,
and the Assumption respectively. The dogma of the Church was finally
pronounced after nineteen centuries.  It was confirmed by the faithful and
those officially consulted as a dogma that crowned Mary with this privilege
which was dependent on the power of her Son just as her Immaculate
Conception. Both teachings are filled with hope for us who are on our
pilgrimage of faith toward the kingdom of God.   We like Mary are called to
say “yes” to the Lord our Creator and to render thanks for the gifts we,
too, have received so graciously from a loving God who is filled with
kindness and mercy.  She is “our tainted nature’s solitary boast” and we
are proud of her being our representative who leads to way to our eventual
being with the Blessed Trinity and her with all the saints.
Like Jesus she returns to the bosom of the Father having been chosen from
eternity to be the mother of God’s only begotten Son.  We pray with her
that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit may be glorified in all

places.  Amen.


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