A Note From Fr. Timothy
The Solemnity of the Assumption
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated each year in the Church on August 15th. In this country (and many others) it is celebrated as a Holy Day of Obligation. It is such an important solemnity in the Church, that in parts of Europe it has been called “the Easter of the summer”. When it falls on a Sunday (as it does this year), its celebration supersedes the normal Sunday celebration.
Mary is honored on this day, as we remember the completion of Mary’s earthly life and how she was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven (cf. Munificentissimus Deus, 44). However, since we are celebrating the Assumption this year on the Lord’s Day, we have an opportunity to reflect and remember as well that this celebration is not all about Mary.
One of the things I often remind couples preparing for marriage is that even though it is their marriage, a Catholic wedding is not only about the couple themselves. Rather the reason it is a sacrament and that we celebrate it in a church is because God is an essential component of what is celebrated. The Lord is our God and He is our life and salvation. No one else – not even a spouse – could ever give meaning to our lives as God does, nor replace His presence in our hearts. God, who has first loved us, desires us to be happy and to share His love in our vocation. Without drawing from the fountain of the love of God, couples would be unable to live true sacramental love for each other in their marriage. So remembering God at the wedding never diminishes the bride and groom, instead it magnifies them and establishes the marriage as something more than simply a human endeavor.
Similarly, the Assumption of Mary is about Mary, but should never lose sight of God. Mary, the Immaculate One, was conceived without sin by the prevenient grace of Jesus her son. By God and His grace, she has been so blessed as to avoid the stain of sin. Since she was sinless, her body would not experience the corruption and decay of death, and so was assumed by God to heaven at the end of her life on earth. God is at work in this mystery, and by His work magnifies Mary before all believers, accomplishing something beyond human capacity.
So as we honor Mary on this great feast, may we also give praise and thanksgiving to God, and may our worship of God give us new insight and greater appreciation for the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Assumption into heaven.
Queen of Heaven
V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr. Timothy Gapinski