August 15, 2015


August 15, 2015:  Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

See 14 links with today's readings and solemnity?
Legend at bottom


*v: vigil readings; d: daytime readings
Pope Francis Angelus
The truest reason for Mary’s greatness and blessedness is her faith; it's at the heart of each moment of her life.  Mary believes and proclaims that God will never abandon his people, the poor and the humble, but will aid them with merciful care, while casting down the powerful and scattering the proud.  Her Magnificat allows us to see that, with God's mercy driving Mary, he couldn't allow her to see the corruption of the tomb.
The Assumption isn't just about Mary; it touches each of us, reminding us of the end that awaits us.  Our life is not senseless wandering but a pilgrimage that to the Father's house.  Along the way, God shows Mary to us as a sign of consolation and hope, blessed because she believed the Lord's word.  We're destined to share her glory because, thank God, we believe in the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and are inserted into this mystery of salvation.
  • 1 Chr 15:3-4, 15-16; 16:1-2  David assembled Israel to bring the ark of the Lord to the place prepared for it.  He had chanters appointed to make loud sounds of rejoicing.  They brought the ark in, made offerings to God, then David blessed the people in God's name.
  • Ps 132:6-7, 9-10, 13-14  "Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness."  Enter his dwelling and worship, clothed with justice....
  • 1 Cor 15:54b-57  When the mortal is clothed with immortality, the word shall come about:  Death is swallowed up in victory.  Death, where is your victory?  Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Christ.
  • Lk 11:27-28  A woman from the crowd / Jesus:  “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts that nursed you.” / “Rather, blessed are those who hear and keep God's word.”
  • Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab  Signs:  ark, sun-clothed stars-crowned woman, moon under feet, with child, wailing, laboring; 7-headed 10-horned dragon with diadems; tail hurled stars; stood before woman to devour child.  Bore son, destined to rule, caught up to God.  “Salvation, power, God's Kingdom, Anointed's authority have come.”
  • Ps 45:10-12, 16  "The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold."
  • 1 Cor 15:20-27  Death and resurrection both came through man.  As in Adam all die, in Christ all shall be brought to life.  He must reign till he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last one to be destroyed is death.
  • Lk 1:39-56  Mary traveled to Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard her greeting, the infant leaped, and Elizabeth cried, “Blessed are you and the fruit of your womb.  The infant leaped.  Blessed are you who believed what the Lord told you would be fulfilled.”  Mary:  “Magnificat:  I proclaim God's greatness.  All will call me blessed:  God has done great things; holy his name.  He has mercy, has shown strength, scattered the proud, cast down the mighty, lifted up the lowly, filled the hungry, sent away the rich, helped Israel, and remembered his promise of mercy.”
      Maesta (Death of the Virgin)/ Duccio
    • Creighton:  Duccio's "Maesta" depicts the time in the life of the early Church when Mary died; imagine the words exchanged between Mary and the disciples around her as she approached death. / How does Christ's victory transform our bodies?  When we pray for the dead, we pray in hope of God's forgiveness.  It must have been easy for believers to know Mary would be the first to be carried home to God.  "Mary's Assumption is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians" (Catechism, 966).  Lord, help us to live with hope of eternal life.  Take away our fear, comfort us in trials, help us to imagine heavenly joy, and let our anticipation free us from anxiety.  Let Mary guide us on our path to life in You.
      Assumption of the Virgin
    • One Bread One Body:  "Arks and covenants":  God restarted with humanity after Adam and Eve's sin, telling Noah to build an ark, in which Noah's family escaped the flood.  God then established a covenant with his chosen, but humanity again fell into sin. God restarted again with a new people, covenant, and ark, later called "the ark of the covenant,"  containing the Ten Commandments and accompanied by God's special presence.  Humanity again fell into sin, and God restarted by making the best ark and covenant of all:  Mary, new ark of the new covenant, carrying God himself, who established a new covenant with us in his blood.  Mary is "a sign of sure hope" for us (Lumen Gentium, 68).  People still look for the first two arks, but the third is easy to find:  always with Jesus (Catechism, 964).
    • Passionist:  As the ark contained the tablets of the Commandments, so Mary’s body contained our Savior.  In a vision John sees a woman with child surrounded with the lights of heaven who gives birth to a son from whom salvation will come.  Jesus’ resurrection is the foundation of our hope for eternal life.  The Church believes Mary’s assumption is the first realization of the full impact of Jesus’ resurrection.  Elizabeth tells Mary, “Blessed are you who believed that what the Lord told you would be fulfilled.”  May we also have the faith that God’s kingdom has come and we're for glory.....
      Mary's Assumption
    •  Mary is a model of faith and hope.  A tradition marks Mary's "falling asleep" ("Dormition") and heavenly birthday.  Her reception into heaven is a sign of Jesus' promise that we too will be received.  Jesus told his disciples he'd prepare a place for them.  When Elizabeth and Mary greeted one another, they were filled with the Spirit and joyful anticipation of the promised Savior.  John the Baptist pointed to his coming and leapt for joy in the womb as the Spirit revealed the presence of the Anointed inside Mary.  The Spirit is God's gift to us so we may know and experience God's presence and power.  Mary obediently accepted her mission, acting with faith because she believed God would keep his word.  Her Magnificat echoes Hannah's song and proclaims the Lord's favor:  God exalts the lowly and fills the hungry.  The Spirit is ready to renew our faith and hope and make us strong in love for God and others.
    • Universalis:  The commemoration of Mary's death is known as the Assumption because of the tradition that her body didn't decay but was raised up.  The tradition was present in the 6th century and was widespread by the start of the 20th; see Catholic Encyclopedia.
    Dress legend
    • NEW Mary/Elizabeth/Magnificat pin (gospel d; thanks, Carmen!)
    • 'Treble clef' tie bar:  David commanded Levite chiefs to appoint chanters, to play on musical instruments... (1st reading v)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  Woman in sky wore 12-star crown; dragon had 7 diadems on its heads (1st reading d)
    • 'Shooting star' tie pin:  woman's crown; hurled stars (1st reading d)
    • 'Sun-colored' tie:  woman clothed with the sun (1st reading d)
    • '[Kentucky] sign' pin:  'signs' in the sky:  woman/sun/moon/stars, dragon (1st reading d)
    • 'Precious feet' pin:  Christ must reign till all enemies are under his feet.  (2nd reading d)
      • Gold, white, and green on suspenders:  "The queen stands ... arrayed in gold." (psalm d); colors of today's celebration and Ordinary Time season
      • Crucifix pin:  in Christ all shall be brought to life (1st reading d); death and resurrection through Jesus (2nd reading d)
      • Blue shirt:  Mary  (gospels)

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