This Sunday is August 15 and so we are surprised perhaps why our Gospel series on the Eucharist gives way to this feast of Mary’s Assumption into heaven. For that, we need an explanation and a reflection.


First, the explanation. A solemn feast or solemnity is an event we celebrate even on a Sunday, and in fact, it takes the place of the usual Sunday celebration, like it happens today. Whether  the title of the solemnity mentions Mary or another saint, the solemnity in fact, centers on Christ and imparts a very important message about God through the life of the saint being honored. The solemnity of the Assumption is unique in that it celebrates a “democratic” dogma or teaching of the church. Bishops all over the world, representing their flocks, petitioned the pope to declare that Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven. That means, the teaching and the feast came directly from the hearts, from the simple faith of the people.


Now, the reflection. This feast depicts Mary in blissful glory as she enters heaven escorted by angels and welcomed by the Trinity. However, as in the whole of Mary’s life, she deflects attention from herself and directs it all to God. The Gospel shows us the true character of Mary, the real reason why the Church believes she is now in heaven. Each time Mary is praised, whether by an angel or by another human, Mary manifests her humility. She is a servant, she is a handmaid, she is nothing if not for the grace of the Lord.


In the Magnificat, Mary describes not herself, but the God who revealed his love to her. God is merciful, holy, just, faithful and reliable. She is to be called “blessed” not because of her merits but because of this great and loving God.


And we know that Mary represents all of us. What happened to her will also happen to us. She has been chosen to lead the way for us. And if we follow along that path, we will also discover the greatness of God and enter into his glory. Mary enters heaven first, but not alone, for she is waiting for us to get there one day.


Let us pray that through our Blessed Mother, we will learn to rely less on ourselves, to have confidence in God alone, and too live our lives in total conformity to divine will. Mama Mary, pray for us!