The Feast of the Assumption

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. Pius XII declared this feast a dogma of the church in 1950. This was a very difficult time for millions and millions of people around the world. World War II was over, but the devastation and tragedy it left behind burdened peoples hearts. Mary symbolized the hope of the Resurrection which is God’s gift to all of us. Pius XII was doing his best to remind us that the lamb of God had conquered all hopelessness, even though sin and death ominously threatened the light of faith. He said at the time, "Finally, it is our hope that belief in Mary’s bodily Assumption into heaven will make our belief in our own resurrection stronger and render it more effective."

Today, as in all past centuries, human hearts are burdened by the darkness of suffering, human greed, waywardness, war, and despair. Nothing ever changes, it seems. Yet, in the midst of darkness our faith can make all the difference in the world.

In today’s Gospel we hear these comforting words of hope and joy from Mary: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God…..and has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.”

And to those disheartened by greed, war, poverty, etc., Mary proclaims: “He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

And lest we think only Mary can rejoice in God’s victory, Luke reminds us that these words are the promises God made to Abraham and his descendents forever – this means us, the body of Christ, who hear the call to hope in action.


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