Today, 15 August, is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Reading about and contemplating Mary’s life in different Gospel accounts teaches us many things about how to live life, and to grow in faith, hope and love for God and others.
God chose the Blessed Virgin Mary among the women of her time to be the Mother of God. Her life and her being was formed to be the Mother of the Son of God, Jesus. Knowing who God was in her life visibly tells us that God exists and takes care of us all. Mary draws us closer to God and that helps us to have a positive and joyful experience in life. In her life, God was, and still is, the ultimate One. She placed great importance on obeying and doing His will in her everyday encounters with Him and with others.
To the present time, Mary lives every moment with graciousness and thankfulness, just as she proclaimed in her “Magnificat” with all that was in her heart, thinking of all that God had done in her life. She exclaimed with such joy in her greeting when she visited her cousin Elizabeth, telling her of the greatness of God in her life:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour! …The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name! (Luke 1: 46-47, 49)
Her love of God showed in her sincerity, availability in serving others – especially for her cousin Elizabeth who was six months pregnant, having conceived a child despite her advanced age. Mary demonstrated total self-giving and generosity in her care for Elizabeth. Each day of her life was a choice to obey God’ s will through the spirit of good service which gave her the opportunity to express her love and concern in everything she did.
One of the great things that occurred to the Blessed Virgin Mary was her assumption into heaven:
Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians. (Paragraph 966, Catechism of the Catholic Church)
What happened to Mary points us to our final destination. Someday we shall be in heaven together with Mary, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and with all the heavenly beings who are now enjoying the everlasting presence of God. We look forward to our moving onto our eternal life – at a time appointed by God – and being in our heavenly homeland where we are meant to be. Until then, why not start living as if our heavenly place is here on earth? What would that look like? We strive to live a life with truth, beauty, hope, joy, and love for God and for our neighbour. We make it a reality that heaven is here. How do we begin and nurture this way of living now? Look to Jesus – He is our inspiration of living life on earth as it is in heaven. When Jesus is amongst us there is divine love with and in us.
Let us pray and ask for Mary’s help on how we can bring Jesus in our midst for He is the way, and the truth and the life (John 14:6).
This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation …Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix. (Paragraph 969, Catechism of the Catholic Church)
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