August 15, 2017

Mary's Assumption

August 15, 2017:  Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Find 15 connections with today?
Legend below

Magnificat settings (gospel d)

For today's psalms
*v: vigil readings; d: daytime readings
Pope Francis Angelus
Today's gospel relates the Mary's meeting with Elizabeth and records her song of praise, the Magnificat.  The greatest gift Mary brings to Elizabeth is Jesus, who already lives within her, not merely in faith and hope, as in so many Old Testament women:  Jesus has taken flesh from her to save the world.
Elizabeth had already received the joy of pregnancy, after having felt for so long the sorrow of not having a baby. Now her joy overflows, because Jesus fills her senses.  Mary echoes that joy in the Magnificat, praising God, who accomplished his plan of salvation through the poor and humble.  God can do great things through the humble because humility is like an emptiness that leaves room for God.  The humble are powerful because they're humble, not because they're strong.  How do you foster humility?
In Elizabeth and Zechariah's house, the coming of Jesus through Mary created a climate of joy, communion, and faith that led to hope, prayer, and praise.  We want this for our homes too.   We want Mary to bring us and our families and communities that Gift, that Grace we must seek above all:  Jesus Christ!
Mary is the model of virtue and faith.  In contemplating her assumed into heaven we give thanks that she goes before us in the pilgrimage of life and faith and ask that she protect and sustain us, that we might have strong, joyful, and merciful faith, and that she help us to be saints and one day meet with her in Paradise.  May she obtain for the suffering consolation, serenity, and concord.

  • 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.  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.”
  • Creighton:  I can congratulate myself on my accomplishments and validate my life by pointing to achievement. becoming proud.  I can view my existence as independent from God, ignoring his role, seeing myself at the center of the universe, tempted to denigrate others.  But God knit me in my mother’s womb, gave me my talents, sustains me, and showers me with the Spirit enabling me to actualize these talents.
But Mary, whom God blessed above all others, chose to be at the center of salvation history, and  was faithful to Jesus  from Bethlehem to Calvary, was humble and grateful, realizing her blessings were from the Almighty.  May I become more aware of the source of my blessings and join Mary in her humility, praise, and gratitude.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "The day he's been waiting for":  The Lord knows us perfectly; he knows how to break through our resistance to him, how to love us, penetrate our hearts, and transform us.  Today, people afraid of death will be freed; death will lose its sting.  People who feel hopeless will hope and proclaim the Lord's greatness. Lukewarm Christians will repent, forgive, be forgiven, and be on fire with love for God. The Lord will depose the mighty from their thrones and raise the lowly.
    Mary's Assumption
  • Passionist:  The 1st reading starts with a vision of God’s temple in heaven, with the Ark of the Covenant in the center.  The image reminds us that Church is rooted in the Old Testament and can only be appreciated by those who understand the Law, Prophets, and Writings.  Jesus was a Jew:  synagogue and temple formed his religious sense and provided insights of who his Father was.  We can read the book he studied and learned.  The second image is of a woman clothed with the sun, in labor to give birth, and a dragon threatening to devour her child, whom God preserves and sets on his throne; then the woman flees to safety prepared by God.  Is the woman the church?  Mary?  Most agree that the son is Jesus.  Jesus' victory over the dragon or Satan is sure.  The final image is the voice from heaven; it takes us to the Jordan where Jesus receives his mission from the Father and to Mt. Tabor where the Father approves his life’s work.  Here the voice declares victory:  the Kingdom coming in saving power as all bow to the Anointed's authority.  May we accept that the victory is ours and thank Jesus for all the blessings and graces of our lives.
  •  "My spirit rejoices in God my Savior":  Mary is a model of faith and hope; she's among the first-fruits of all who belong to Jesus and share in his triumph.  An ancient tradition church marks Mary's "falling asleep" (called Dormition in Eastern churches) and heavenly birthday when she was received into heaven, a sign of Jesus' promise that we would also be received into paradise.  The Holy Spirit enabled Mary to grow in faith and persevere in hope.  When Elizabeth and Mary greeted one another, they were filled with the Spirit and joyful anticipation of the fulfillment of God's promise of a Savior.  John the Baptist pointed to his coming, leaping for joy in his mother's womb as the Spirit revealed the Anointed's presence in Mary's womb.  The Spirit is God's gift to us to enable us to know and experience God's presence and power.  Mary accepted her mission with faith and obedience; she acted with trust because she believed God would fulfill the word he spoke.  Her Magnificat echoes Hannah's song, proclaiming God's favor....

    • Universalis:  The commemoration of Mary's death is known as her 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.
    Dress legend
    • Mary/Elizabeth/Magnificat pin (gospel d)
    • 'Piano keyboard' suspenders:  David commanded Levite chiefs to... play on musical instruments... (1st reading v)
    • 'Shooting star' tie pin:  Woman's crown; hurled stars (1st reading d)
    • 'Sun' pin:  woman clothed with the sun (1st reading d)
    • 'Signs' tie:  '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-colored accessories:  "The queen stands ... arrayed in gold." (psalm d)
      • 'Clock' tie bar:  Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months (gospel d)
      • Crucifix pin:  In Christ all shall be brought to life (1st reading d); death and resurrection through Jesus (2nd reading d)

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