We celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of our Holy Mother Mary into the heavens. Mary gives us a life of faith and pure service unto God. She was born from the love of God and lived every day in faith & in love with God our Father. Mary, the Mother of God was like you and me in her humanity, her suffering with her Son & in her faith. Mary knew from her young adulthood that God’s first and most important command was that she love God with all her heart, mind & soul. She did so by loving God’s children. Mary lived a holy life. She prayed daily. She learned to listen to God. She heard His call & bequeathed upon this earth, the Son of God, our Holy redeemer Jesus Christ.
Indeed, Mary was holy! In our own ways & to one degree or another, so too are you and I holy people. You & I are created in the image & likeness of God. In our humanity we have our own imperfections and brokenness. But! We also have prayer. At times in our lives things happen which reach down into the very fibers of our soul. We turn to God and we pray. Sometimes we pray in sadness. Sometimes we pray in anger. Sometimes we pray with sheer joy & thanksgiving. Truly, you are—to one degree or another—a holy person. You are here today because of your faith, your love for God and your desire to hear the Good News & to receive the Sacraments. Just as Mary lived a life in faith, so too do you & I attend Mass with the very gift of faith which God has given to us.
St Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women.” St Elizabeth’s words echo in the chambers of our prayerful hearts. We know that the Virgin Mary sets before us a life worthy of God’s praise. Do you realize that you in your own ways live life worthy of God’s grace, praise and love? Today, the Lord is with you! Our Lord blesses us. Our Lord strengthens us. God loves us for the people we are today. God loves us for the better people we can be. In the Gospels, Mother Mary was happy, faithful & filled with God’s grace. But! Mary also accepted her Son’s agony, suffering & ultimate death. With Jesus, Mary too suffered. When Jesus died, a part of Mary’s heart must have died. Still, Mary placed her faith, her trust & her love in God.
The Feast of The Assumption can often turn the world upside down. Those who doubt more than they believe stand in shock at the idea of Mary being assumed into heaven. But! If that is the case, then Christ’s Resurrection is probably another stumbling block for those who have doubts. For Mary, Christ’s Resurrection is the high point of God’s gift of Almighty Love, God’s many blessings and God’s graces. Mother Mary saw her own beloved Son even before the apostles. From the beginning, our Holy Mother Mary has given us the example of a life worth living. She was loved by God & in return sought to love God & those around her. You & I are called to love God & also those around us, even strangers or those in need. Mary’s Assumption is a sign to us that God has for us the blessing of eternal life, eternal love and eternal glory.
Mother Mary’s devotion and your steadfast faith can bring to us a liberty of spirit—the freedom of the children of God—a gift to those who faithfully practice & live out the greatest commandment: to love one-another. In return our loving Savior, Jesus Christ opens our hearts & fills them with holy confidence in God. In faith, we grow to understand God as our Father. He inspires us through prayer, sometimes by sitting still, by being quiet & simply listening as God comes close to the heart. Then, He no longer whispers. Rather, He sings. God inspires us with a generous and gentle love.
Our Holy Virgin Mother Mary discovered the Way opened by her beloved Son, Jesus. Like Mary, we in our faith cannot go wrong in following Jesus. Our daily lives in faith are gifted with the fullness of God’s grace & the daily guidance of the Holy Spirit. On our faith-filled Journey, we do not weaken or turn back. In faith, we discover a reliable and direct way leading us straight to Jesus & eternal life. Mother Mary lived out this kind of daily life. Let us then take this road & travel along day & night until we arrive at the eternal age of Jesus Christ. Our loving Mother Mary & the Feast of the Assumption bring forth the brightness of faith, the eternal Hope of God’s glory & the perfect Love of our Savior Jesus Christ. Mary reminds us that we are called to live out God’s immense love.
-Father Michael Briese