Gospel Reflection Aug 15 – Msgr. Hendricks
Sunday, August 15
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Luke 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.
This Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary came into the Church in the East and then in the West as early as the 5th Century. Today’s gospel is the account of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth and her song of praise we know as the Magnificat. This Solemnity contextualizes yet another part of the Christian Mystery of how much God loves the world and now sends His Son and the prophet who will foretell him into the world. The work and ministry of both John the Baptist (for the forgiveness of sin and repentance), and Jesus (his self-sacrifice for our Redemption) allows us once more to see how God longs for us to be heirs to paradise.
The role of Mary is instrumental in the path to salvation. Her willing Yes, to become the Mother of God, and her life of endurance until the end of His earthly life on the Cross always point to the unyielding faith and trust in the promise that God made to her long ago when the angel told her of the role she would play in His coming birth.
Mary holds that special place in the Church as Mother of God and Mother of the Church. It is through her intercession that we come to know Christ better and her example of courage and fortitude helps us along the way as we seek to draw closer to her Son.
The Assumption of Mary into heaven mirrors the new glorified and resurrected body of her Son and what we long for when we reach the portals of death and beyond. As the preface of the Dead tells us, “ in Him life is changed not ended.”
We honor the Virgin Mary today and ask her to guide us and direct our thoughts to the King of Glory, Jesus Christ, living and risen.