From the Pastor's Desk
SOLEMN FEAST OF ASSUMPTION OF BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
The Feast of the Assumption is one of the most important feasts of our Lady. Catholics believe in the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven. We believe that when her earthly life was finished, Mary was taken up, body and soul, into Heavenly glory, where the Lord exalted her as Queen of Heaven.
We honor Mary, venerate her, express our love for her and never worship her.
Why do we honor Mary: 1) Mary herself gives the most important reason in her “Magnificat:” “All generations (ages) will call me blessed because the “The Mighty One has done great things for me” a) by choosing Mary as the mother of Jesus b) by filling her with His Holy Spirit twice, namely at the Annunciation and at Pentecost, c) by making her “full of grace,” the paragon or embodiment of all virtues, d) by allowing her to become the most active participant with Christ, her Son, in our Redemption, suffering in spirit what Jesus suffered in body.
2) Mary is our Heavenly Mother. Jesus gave us His Mother as our Mother from the cross: “Woman, behold your son.” … “Behold your mother” (John 19: 26-27).
3) Mary is the supreme model of all virtues and hence our role model, especially in holiness of life (“full of grace”), obedience to the will of God (“fiat”) and true humility (“Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me as you have said”).
Reasons why we believe in the dogma of Assumption: Pope Pius XII in the papal document Munificentimus Deus gives four reasons for our belief in the Dogma of Assumption of Mary.
1) The uninterrupted tradition about Mary’s death and Assumption starting from the first century.
2) The belief expressed in all the ancient liturgies of the Church.
3) The negative evidence -- the absence and veneration of a tomb of Mary while most of the apostles have their tombs.
4) The possibility of bodily assumption warranted in the Old Testament in the cases of Enoch (Gn 5:24), perhaps Moses (Dt 34:5), and especially Elijah (II Kgs 2:1).5) The theological reasons: a) The degeneration of the body after death is the consequence of “original sin,” and Mary, as “Immaculately Conceived,” is exempted from the postmortem decay of the body. b) As receiver of the fullness of grace and holiness because she is mother of Jesus and co-redeemer with Him, Mary’s place is with her son, God’s Son Jesus, the Redeemer, in the abode of holiness, Heaven.
1) As Mary’s Assumption was a reward for a holy life, this feast invites us to keep our bodies pure and holy. Paul gives three additional reasons: a) our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, b) our body parts are the members of Christ’s Body, and c) our bodies are to be glorified on the day of the Last Judgment.
2) We are given an assurance of hope in our resurrection and a source of inspiration during moments of despair and temptations.
3) We receive a message of total liberation from all our bondages: impure, unjust, uncharitable thoughts, desires, words, actions, and neglects, addiction to evil habits, drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography and sexual aberrations.