The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Theme: WE WILL BE ASSUMED INTO HEAVEN – BODY AND SOUL – WITH THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY  

  • Apocalypse (Revelation) 11:19; 12:1-6. 10;
  • Psalm 44 (45):10-12. 16. R/ v. 10;
  • 1 Corinthians 15:20-26
  • Luke 1:39-56

Today we celebrate the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven. Mary was assumed into heaven body and soul because she was not touched by Original Sin and consequently her body was not touched by the corruption of death. Mary was preserved from Original Sin by the grace of her Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ saves us in two ways, that is, by forgiving us our sins and by preserving us from sin by his grace. Mary was preserved from sin by the grace of Jesus Christ. (MCE)

Thus the gospel today tells us that she is the most blessed among women, blessed is the fruit of her womb, blessed is she who believed that the promise made to her will be fulfilled, and all generations will call her blessed! Mary was blessed and graced! In fact that is the first part of the prayer “Hail Mary”:

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus”!

Thus we read in the gospel today:

“Elizabeth gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. …. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

And Mary said: ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my savior; because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid. Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me.’” (Lk 1:42. 45-49a; SM)

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. According to our Catholic Church the first reading tells us about Mary, her Son Jesus Christ, and the Dragon, that is, the Devil. (NJB; NJBC; IBC) The first reading tells us that Mary gave birth to the child Jesus and the dragon wanted to eat the child, but the child was taken up into heaven, that is, he “ascended” into heaven, while Mary escaped into the desert to a place of safety prepared by God!

Most importantly, the first reading tells us that God and Jesus Christ have won over the Devil! Thus we read in the first reading:

“Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ.’” (Rv 12:10; SM)

Again, Mary was preserved from the Devil and from Original Sin and from the consequent corruption of death by the grace of Jesus Christ! Thus Mary was assumed into heaven body and soul!

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us that Mary is Queen as God is King, and Mary is bride as God is bridegroom! The responsorial psalm praises Mary as bride of God and Queen of heaven! (NJBC) Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

“On your right stands the queen, in garments of gold.”! (Ps 44 (45):10; SM)

Finally, the second reading tells us that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. More importantly, the second reading tells us that we will also rise with Jesus Christ from the dead and ascend into heaven with him! Thus we read in the second reading:

“Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ.” (1 Co 15:20-22; SM)

Today in the Eucharist, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and the Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will forgive us our sins. The Holy Spirit will also preserve us from sin, so that we will not sin, and so that one day we will also be assumed into heaven – body and soul – with the Blessed Virgin Mary! Amen!

SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD – A, B, C

Theme: WE THANK GOD FOR HIS BLESSINGS FOR THE PAST YEAR AND WE ASK GOD TO BLESS OUR NEW YEAR 

  • Numbers 6:22-27
  • Psalm 66: 2-3. 5. 6. 8. R. v. 2
  • Galatians 4:4-7
  • Luke 2:16-21

A Happy New Year to all of you! Today we celebrate the solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God! Today we also celebrate the Octave Day (8th Day) of Christmas! On Christmas day our focus was on Jesus! On the 8th day of Christmas our focus is on Mary his mother! Today we also celebrate the World Day of Peace. But today we also celebrate New Year’s Day! A Happy New Year to all of you! For us Christians this is not just an empty greeting, but this is a prayer to God, calling God’s blessings on you for a Happy New Year! But before we ask for God’s blessings, let us thank God for all the blessings of this year!

When we thank God for his blessings and ask God for more blessings, let us not forget in the first place, God’s blessings in creation! The blessings of creation, life, nature, the trees, the rainforests, the fresh air, the sun, moon and the stars, the earth and its fruits, the waters and its fishes, etc.! We always remember the blessings of Salvation, love forgiveness, mercy, joy, peace, freedom, etc., that came after Original Sin, but we tend to forget the Original Blessings of Creation that came before Original Sin!

 

The first reading today from the Book of Numbers tells us that God blesses Israel through Moses and the Law! ‘May the Lord bless you and keep you! May the Lord let his face shine (smile) on you and be gracious to you! May the Lord uncover his face to you and bless you with his peace!’ Peace here can mean peace, prosperity and happiness, wholeness and well-being, and peace with God and peace with men!

 

The responsorial palm is a response to the first reading and is a prayer for God’s blessings! ‘O God, be gracious and bless us! Let the light of your face shine upon us! O God continue to bless us until the ends of the earth revere you!’

 

The gospel today tells us that through Mary, God has blessed us with His Son Jesus Christ! The gospel today tells that through Mary, God has become food (manger) for sinful men (shepherds) for their salvation (“Jesus” means “God saves”)! God has not only become man, but has become food for sinful man for their salvation! What blessings! What grace! What favor! How can we thank God enough for His blessings of Salvation, a blessing far surpasses his blessings of the Law, and his blessings of Creation!

 

Again, the second reading from Paul’s letter to the Galatians tells us that through Mary, God blesses us with His Son Jesus Christ, so that we can be the sons and daughters of God, so that we can be the children of God! The second reading tells us that through Mary the Son of God has become the son of a woman, so that we sinners enslaved by the Law may become the sons and daughters of God!

 

God does this by giving us the Holy Spirit of his Son Jesus Christ so that we can cry “Abba (Dad), Father” to God! And as sons and daughters of God we are also heirs of God, inheriting his life, love and happiness! Again, what blessings, what graces, what favors! How can we thank God enough for his blessings graces, and favors!

 

Today in this Eucharist, we celebrate the Death and Resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, and the Risen Lord will continue to give us His Holy Spirit and bless us with his “sonship” and “salvation”! He will bless us with his peace, his love and his joy!

 

So once again, we thank God for all His blessings for the past year and we ask God to bless our New Year 2017! A Happy New Year to all of you and God bless you!

 

Amen!

THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY – 14th August 2016

Theme: MARY WAS TAKEN UP INTO HEAVEN BODY AND SOUL

  • Apocalypse (Revelation) 11:19; 12:1-6. 10;
  • Psalm 44:10-12. 16. R/ v. 10;
  • 1 Corinthians 15:20-26
  • Luke 1:39-56

 Today we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven! Mary was taken up into heaven body and soul after her life on earth! Her body did not see corruption because she was untouched by Original Sin!

The Protestants protest that Mary had to be a sinner before Jesus Christ can save her! But we Catholics believe that Jesus Christ saves us in two ways, that is, by forgiving our sins and by preserving us from sin with his grace! Mary was saved uniquely and exclusively in the second way! She was preserved from sin by the grace of God to prepare her to be the Mother of God and the Mother of the Savior of the world! The all Holy God cannot be born from a sinful womb and the Savior of all sinners cannot himself be born from a sinful womb!

Thus at the Announcement of the Birth of Jesus, the angel Gabriel greeted Mary with these words:

“Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” (Lk 1:28; CSB)

Or “Hail Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”

And in today’s gospel after Mary greeted Elizabeth, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she gave a loud cry and said:

“Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. …. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Lk 1:42. 45; SM)

And Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my savior; because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid. Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me.” (Lk 1:46-49; SM)

Indeed, Mary was blessed, favored and graced! Mary was preserved from Original Sin by the grace of God to prepare her to be the Mother of God and the Mother of the Savior of the world!

In fact this is the first part of the prayer “Hail Mary”:

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.”   

Only in the second part of the “Hail Mary” do we ask Mary to pray for us:

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

We ask Mary to pray for us so that one day we will also be “taken up” or “assumed” into heaven body and soul! And that is what we did half an hour before Mass at the grotto of Mary when we said the Holy Rosary! A Blessed Assumption Day to all of you! That is, may you be blessed as Mary was blessed so that one day you will also be “taken up” or “assumed” into heaven body and soul!

Amen!