The Assumption of the Virgin Mary – Solemnity

Posté par diaconos le 13 août 2019

The Mighty One did wonders for me : he lifted up the humble (Lk 1, 39-56)

The Catholic Church teaches as dogma that the Virgin Mary "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory".[4] This doctrine was dogmatically defined by Pope Pius XII on 1 November 1950, in the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus by exercising papal infallibility.[5] While the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church believe in the Dormition of the Mother of God (Dormition of the Theotokos or "the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God"),[6] whether Mary had a physical death has not been dogmatically defined. In Munificentissimus Deus (item 39) Pope Pius XII pointed to the Book of Genesis (3:15) as scriptural support for the dogma in terms of Mary's victory over sin and death through her intimate association with "the new Adam" (Christ)[7] as also reflected in 1 Corinthians 15:54: "then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory".[8][

The Catholic Church teaches as dogma that the Virgin Mary « having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory ». This doctrine was dogmatically defined by Pope Pius XII on 1 November 1950, in the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus by exercising papal infallibility.                                                                   While the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church believe in the Dormition of the Mother of God (Dormition of the Theotokos or « the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God »),[6] whether Mary had a physical death has not been dogmatically defined.                In Munificentissimus Deus (item 39) Pope Pius XII pointed to the Book of Genesis (3:15) as scriptural support for the dogma in terms of Mary’s victory over sin and death through her intimate association with « the new Adam » (Christ) as also reflected in 1 Corinthians 1554 : « then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory ».

From the Gospel according to Luke

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’

And Mary said, : « ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed ; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm ; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly ; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’ And Mary remained with her for about three months and then returned to her home. (Lk 1, 39-56)

 Homily  Assumption of the Virgin Mary 

   The Assumption is the privilege by virtue of which the immaculate Mother of God was glorified, at the end of her earthly life, in her soul and body, without waiting for the final resurrection. It had already been the faith of the Church for a long time and it was on November 1, 1950 that Pope PIE XII defined it as a dogma of faith.

« My soul exalts the Lord, my spirit exalts in God my Savior. He has looked at his humble servant ; from now on all ages will call me blessed. The Mighty One did wonders for me. Holy is his name !  » Mary is the first of the saved and her song of thanksgiving, the Magnificat, brings all the glory to God.

Her singing is not a song of pride, it is an admission of humility : everything it comes from God, by grace, and goes up to God in praise. This is why true devotion to the Virgin Mary constantly reminds us of Jesus Christ. To understand the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is the glory of the risen Jesus that must first be contemplated.  « The last enemy destroyed is Death » (1 Co  15, 26).
These words of Paul, which have just resounded during the second reading, help us to understand the meaning of the solemnity we are celebrating today. In Mary, lifted up to heaven at the end of her earthly life, shines the definitive victory of Christ over death, who entered the world because of Adam’s sin. It was Christ who conquered death, offering himself as a sacrifice on Calvary, in a gesture of love obedient to the Father. He thus saved us from the slavery of sin and evil. In the triumph of the Virgin, the Church contemplates the One whom the Father has chosen as the Mother of his only Son.

That is why Mary is a comforting sign for our hope. The Virgin raised in the glory of Paradise assures us that divine help will never be lacking. Brothers and sisters, let us contemplate Mary, gathered here on this day so dear to our devotion. A great sign appears for us in heaven today. The author of the book of Revelation speaks to us about it through a prophetic language in the first reading.

« A great sign appeared in heaven: a Woman! The sun envelops him » (Rev 12, 1) What an extraordinary wonder is before our amazed eyes ! Used to fixing the realities of the earth, we are invited to look upwards: towards heaven, which is our definitive homeland, where the Blessed Virgin awaits us.

The Assumption of Mary is an event that touches us closely precisely because we are destined to die. But death is not the last word. It is, as the mystery of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary tells us, the passage to life in search of Love. It is the gateway to heavenly bliss reserved for those who work for truth and justice and strive to follow Christ.

« From now on all generations will call me blessed » (Lk 1, 48). This is how the Mother of Christ expresses herself when she meets her elderly relative, Elizabeth. In Mary, the promise becomes reality. Blessed is Mary and blessed will we be, we, her children, if, like her, we listen to and put into practice the Word of the Lord.

May today’s solemnity open our hearts to this higher perspective of existence. May the Virgin, whom we contemplate today shining at the right hand of the Son, help us to live by believing « in the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord. With Mary, let us turn to the Father. Like her, let’s trust her. Let us join Jesus, our fellow traveller. Amen.

 Deacon Michel Houyoux

External links to other sites

◊  Instruction : click here → The Assumption of Mary: 12 Things to Know and share

◊Fr. Benny Tuazon : click here →  HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Mass : The Feast of The Assumption of The Blessed Vitrgin Mary

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