Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2015/08/14 at 12:00 AM

When it comes to understanding our beautiful Blessed Mother, the Catholic Church hands on to us 4 dogmatic teachings that have been carefully thought out and defined over many, many centuries.
Dogma is a truth appertaining to faith or morals, revealed by God, transmitted from the Apostles in the Scriptures or by tradition, and proposed by the Church for the acceptance of the faithful.
So when Holy Mother Church proposes a teaching as dogmatic, we, the faithful, must believe and hold that teaching as infallibly true.
The 4 dogmatic teachings about the Blessed Virgin are: 1) Mary is the Mother of God;
2) Mary enjoyed perpetual virginity; 3) Mary was immaculately conceived; and 4) Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven.
Of course it is this last dogmatic statement – which wasn’t solemnly defined until 1950 – that concerns us today.
Today we celebrate that most glorious moment in the life of the Mother of God when she, after the course of her earthly life was over, was assumed body and soul into the glory of Heaven.
Immaculately conceived and persevering in perfect and sinless innocence throughout the entire course of her life, Mary was accorded this one final favor from our Lord at the moment of her death.
Our Lord had already favored Mary above all other women by making her the Mother of His only begotten Son, all the while preserving for the entirety of her life her virginity, even after the moment of Christ’s conception and birth.
Indeed, our Lord favored Mary from the very first moment of her conception with a very particular and unique grace: complete sinlessness.
Immaculate in every way, even from the taint of original sin, the Blessed Virgin Mary became not only the Mother of God, but also the new Eve.
In complete cooperation with her Son, the new Adam, this new Eve helps to undo the reckless damage brought about by the sinfulness of our first parents.
Whereas the first Eve was a seductress, who herself was seduced by the wiles of the serpent, and in her folly with Adam brought forth death into the world, Mary – the new Eve – is innocent, pure, and chaste beyond measure.
And instead of giving birth to the curse of death through her selfishness, as did the first Eve, Mary in her maternal solicitude and selflessness gave birth to Him Who Is the way, the truth, and the life.
In Mary the waywardness, the concupiscence, the infidelity, and the pride of our first Mother Eve is reversed and conquered by her integrity, her purity, her steadfastness, and most especially her humility.
“Through Eve the gates of heaven were closed to all mankind; through the Virgin Mother they were opened wide again.”
It is for this reason that the Church calls our Lady the “glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel,” and “the fairest honor of our race.”
While Mary procures for us the graces necessary to rise above our sinfulness and to grow more and more into the likeness of her Son, the effects of our first parents’ sin are sadly still with us.
Because of original sin we struggle with concupiscence. And because of our sins, our bodies are subject to corruption after death. We are indeed dust, and in our sinfulness unto dust we shall return.
Our Lady, however, being immaculately conceived and a most perfect virgin throughout her life, as well as the noble associate of the divine Redeemer, obtained from her Son the favor that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb.
In this favor we see the magnificent heights to which mankind – persevering in virtue and steadfast in the pursuit of holiness – can be raised.
Without a doubt the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a unique privilege meant for Our Lady alone, but it is also meant for our encouragement!
In her Assumption Mary shows us the way to Heaven, and from her place in Heaven she so capably aids us on our journey there.
Unequaled in her love for God and in her capacity to procure the divine assistance, she is also unwavering in her love for us and therefore procures and hands on to us every grace our Lord grants.
Our Lady is both our greatest advocate with the Lord, as well as our greatest protector from the evil one. And on this day we should therefore praise and thank our Lady!
Most importantly, we should entrust ourselves completely to her maternal care: calling upon her, relying upon her, and trusting in her maternal love and protection.
My brothers and sisters, for the past 33 days many of us in this parish have been preparing to consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary. After Mass today we will pray together our prayer of consecration.
We will renew our baptismal vows, and we will give ourselves totally to Mary and ask that she make use of us according to God’s divine will.
As your pastor, I solemnly promise you, that if you are faithful to your consecration promise throughout your life, you will go to Heaven at the end of your life.
My brothers and sisters, as we celebrate this magnificent feast in honor of our Lady, let us give thanks to our Lord for the great gift of His Mother.
Let us each one entrust ourselves whole-heartedly to her maternal care, and when our life on earth is over, may we follow her with great joy into the everlasting life of Heaven.
O Mary, gloriously assumed into Heaven, pray for us!

15 August 2013

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio.
To enable the audio, lease go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

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