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20th Sunday C


Solemnity of Mary’s Assumption

What happened to the Blessed Virgin Mary after Jesus returned to the glory of his Father in heaven?

The Bible gives us a hint. Mary was present when the Holy Spirit came down on the apostles at Pentecost. She was in the company of the followers of the Lord, and with them, she once again received the Holy Spirit as she did when Jesus was conceived in her womb.

Tradition holds that she stayed with St. John (to whom, while hanging on the cross, Jesus entrusted her) at Ephesus and there she spent the rest of her life receiving visitors and sharing her experiences of her Son.

Then believers all over the world held with firm faith to the conviction that Jesus would never allow his mother to suffer physical decay in the tomb. She was assumed into heaven, body and soul, where now she is honored by the saints and the angels. This is the mystery we celebrate today on the Solemnity of the Assumption: that when her earthly life was ended, Mary joined her Son in heavenly triumph.

We Catholics live in the spirit of a love-affair with the Blessed Virgin Mary. As seminarians we trekked the long road that led to Antipolo City to visit the black Madonna enshrined there, known as Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. We prayed for her guidance and protection on our vocation at the start of every school year.

As Catholics we maintain a living connection with the Blessed Mother. We visit her shrines, pray the rosary, complete novenas in her honor and keep Marian scapulars and medals close to our bodies.

Our faith tells us that Mary is now in heaven, body and soul, and yet we know that she is also here with us. She is not a thing of the past, a relic of the bible, a memory of God’s work in history. No, she truly walks with us still. She is always present in our lives,

Why is this so? Because Mary remains our mother. It was the role she received from the Lord Jesus Christ as he was breathing his last. To this role, Mary is ever faithful.

When we approach her, she listens to us, she helps us and she leads us to God. That is what a mother does for her children. This is what our Heavenly Mother does for all the members of the Church.

It is unfortunate that due to tepidity and a waning of faith, people leave behind their devotion to the Blessed Mother. But it is also encouraging that through her, many people, young and old, discover the love of God and the way back to the Church, the community of disciples that Mary accompanies in its earthly pilgrimage. Let us never tire of coming to Mary to find our true home in Christ.