This Sunday, 15 August 2021, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It takes precedence over the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Church ORDO has outranked the Sunday liturgical readings, and will observe the Solemnity of as a holy day of obligation and the liturgy will be for the Solemnity of the Assumption.
The Catholic Church dedicates and celebrates more than 20 memorials, feasts and solemnities of the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout the year. Besides these, the Church has declared four dogmas or doctrines on Blessed Virgin Mary and her role in the salvation history of God.
|i)||Mary, Mother of God (Theotokos) describes her role as Mother of Jesus, and the feast falls on 1st January.|
|ii)||Perpetual Virginity or Mary virginal’s conception which holds that Mary was and is, Virgin before and after Christ’s birth.|
|iii)||Immaculate Conception of Mary (8th December) teaches us that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, was kept free of every stain of original sin.|
|iv)||The Assumption of Mary (15th August) teaches us that her body and soul assumed into heaven.|
The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not stated in the Holy Scripture. On 1 November 1950, Pope Pius XII announced it as a doctrine of the Catholic Church, “the Blessed Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” Her body and soul assumed into heaven means there are no bones and no tomb of our Lady, to venerate. It is said that she did not die like other human beings, but God took her directly into heaven in a unique way. She was “uniquely graced, protected from sin, so that she might co-operate with her Son’s saving mission.”
During her earthly life, Mary was obedient to the will of God when she said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done unto me according to your word.” She realised that doing God’s will was (and still is) utmost important and greater than her own will. In our daily lives, we should learn how to discern and know God’s will for us, from Mary. She loved God dearly and God graced her with humility and simplicity, in order to courageously take part in God’s plan of salvation by saying, “Let it be done to me according to your words.” (Luke 1:38). This is the highest form of prayer she taught us – so that we can be set apart, as disciples of Jesus.
“There is a light at the end of every tunnel. Some tunnels just happen to be longer than others,” (Ada Adams). We face a lot of hardships and difficulties in our lives, but we hope for the best despite the challenges. As we persevere in life, we learn and value many things, and surely we will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s take courage to do His will, and find hope in everything we do. Let our lives be like Mother Mary, as we reflect on Her faithfulness to do the will of God, through her humility and simplicity.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ! Amen!
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy