Assumption of the Blessed Virgin – Readings/Gospel and Reflection

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Lectionary: 622

God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
and on its heads were seven diadems.
Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
and hurled them down to the earth.
Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
to devour her child when she gave birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
The woman herself fled into the desert
where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed One.”

Responsorial Psalm

R. (10bc)  The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
The queen takes her place at your right hand in gold of Ophir.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
forget your people and your father’s house.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
So shall the king desire your beauty;
for he is your lord.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
They are borne in with gladness and joy;
they enter the palace of the king.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.

Reading 2

Brothers and sisters:
Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since death came through man,
the resurrection of the dead came also through man.
For just as in Adam all die,
so too in Christ shall all be brought to life,
but each one in proper order:
Christ the firstfruits;
then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ;
then comes the end,
when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father,
when he has destroyed every sovereignty
and every authority and power.
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death,
for “he subjected everything under his feet.”

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Mary is taken up to heaven;
a chorus of angels exults.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.”

Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.

REFLECTION (from Catholic daily reflections.com)

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name.”  Luke 1:46-49

These, the opening lines of our Blessed Mother’s glorious song of praise, reveal who she is.  She is one whose whole life proclaims the greatness of God and rejoices continually.  She is one who is the perfection of humility and, therefore, highly exalted by every generation.  She is the one for whom God has done great things and the one whom God has covered in holiness.

The Solemnity we celebrate today, that of her Assumption into Heaven, points to God’s acknowledgement of her greatness.  God did not allow her to taste death or any consequences of sin.  She was Immaculate, perfect in every way, from the moment of her conception to the moment she was taken body and soul into Heaven to reign as Queen for all eternity.

The Immaculate nature of our Blessed Mother may be hard for some to comprehend.  That’s because her life is one of the greatest mysteries of our faith.  Very little was said of her in the Scriptures, but much will be said of her for all eternity as her humility is unmasked and her greatness shines forth for all to see.

Our Blessed Mother was Immaculate, meaning without sin, for two reasons.  First, God preserved her from original sin at the moment of her conception by a special grace.  We call this a “preservative grace.”  Like Adam and Eve, she was conceived without sin.  But unlike Adam and Eve, she was conceived in the order of grace.  She was conceived as one who was already saved by grace, by her Son whom she would one day bring into the world.  The grace that her Son would one day pour on the world transcended time and covered her at the moment of her conception.

The second reason our Blessed Mother is Immaculate is because, unlike Adam and Eve, she never chose to sin throughout her life.  Therefore, she became the new Eve, the new Mother of all the Living, the new Mother of all who live in the grace of her Son.  As a result of this Immaculate nature and her continuous free choice to live in grace, God brought her body and soul into Heaven upon the completion of her earthly life.  It is this glorious and solemn fact that we celebrate today.

Reflect, today, upon your understanding of our Blessed Mother.  Do you know her, understand her role in your life and continually seek her motherly care?  She is your mother if you choose to live in the grace of her Son.  Embrace that fact more deeply today and choose to make her an even more important part of your life.  Jesus will be grateful you do!

Lord, help me to love Your mother with the same love You have for her.  As You were entrusted to her care, so I desire to be entrusted to her care.  Mary, my Mother and Queen, pray for me as I have recourse to you.  Jesus, I trust in You.

.- On the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis said that Mary’s assumption into Heaven was an infinitely greater achievement than man’s first steps on the moon.

“When man set foot on the moon, he said a phrase that became famous: ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’ In essence, humanity had reached a historic milestone. But today, in Mary’s Assumption into Heaven, we celebrate an infinitely greater achievement. Our Lady set foot in Heaven,” Pope Francis said Aug. 15.

“This step of the little Virgin of Nazareth was the giant leap forward of mankind,” the pope added.

Speaking from the window of the Vatican’s apostolic palace to the pilgrims spread out throughout St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said that in Mary’s assumption into Heaven, one sees life’s end goal: “not to gain the things here below, which are fleeting, but the patrimony above, which is forever.”

Catholics around the world celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary on Aug. 15. The feast commemorates the end of Mary’s earthly life when God assumed her, body and soul, into heaven.

“Our Lady set foot in Heaven: she went there not only in spirit, but with her body as well, with all of herself,” he said. “That one of us dwells in the flesh in Heaven gives us hope: we understand that we are precious, destined to rise again. God does not allow our bodies to vanish into nothing. With God, nothing is lost.”

The life of the Virgin Mary is an example of how “the Lord works wonders with the little ones,” the pope explained.

God works through “those who do not believe themselves great but who give great space to God in life. He enlarges His mercy in those who trust in Him, and raises up the humble. Mary praises God for this,” he said.

Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to visit a Marian shrine on the feast day, recommending people in Rome to visit the Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray before the icon of Salus Populi Romani, Mary Protection of the Roman People.

He said that the Virgin Mary’s witness is a reminder to praise God each day, as the Mother of God did in her Magnificat prayer in which she exclaimed: “My soul glorifies the Lord.”

“We might ask ourselves,” he said. “‘Do we remember to praise God? Do we thank Him for the great things He does for us, for every day that He gives us because He always loves us and forgives us?’”

“How often, instead, we let ourselves be overwhelmed by difficulties and absorbed by fears,” he said. “Our Lady does not, because she puts God as the first greatness of life.”

“If, like Mary, we remember the great things that the Lord does, if at least once a day we ‘magnify’, we glorify Him, then we take a great step forward … our hearts will expand,  joy will increase,” Pope Francis said.

The pope wished a happy Feast of the Assumption to everyone, especially the sick, essential workers, and all those who are alone.

“Let us ask Our Lady, the Gate of Heaven, for the grace to begin each day by raising our gaze to Heaven, to God, to say to Him: ‘Thank you!’” he said.