Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Tuesday, August 15, is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a holyday of obligation. Masses will be Monday evening, August 14 at 7:00pm and Tuesday, August 15 at 7:00am, 9:00am and 7:00pm.
Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption of Mary as a dogma on November 1, 1950:
“By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be as a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul in heavenly glory.”
Without wanting to confuse people too much, I need to clarify that there are theological issues regarding whether Mary actually died before her Assumption. The Pope left open the question in his declaration and thus one may believe that Mary did not die at all, but was assumed directly into Heaven. Thus she would be the first human being to have body and soul joined in heaven, experiencing the fullness of the Resurrection of her Son Jesus Christ.
It is a feast that reminds us that we, too, are to experience that fullness of the Resurrection in heaven. Of course we must all die first and then enter into eternity before that can happen. But let us trust, like Mary, in the Gospel for the feast, that God is already present in our daily lives. We do not have to wait until we die to enter into God’s presence. We belong to God already. We participate in the Eucharist and receive the Risen Lord into our lives. May our lives proclaim the greatness of the Lord, as did Mary’s.
May we offer our praise and thanks for Christ’s promise that we, too, will be received into God’s paradise just like His Mother Mary!
Joyfully, Fr. Pat, C.Ss.R.