Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - I Class
Epistle: Jud 13:22-25; 15:10 [The glory of the BVM]
Gospel: Lk 1:41-50 [The Visitation & Magnificat]Full Latin-English propers here.
Her entire life, Our Lady was full of grace and free from sin. She was full of the love of God. The love of God is a grace He freely gives to those He chooses. The love of God is sacrificial and self-giving, not pleasure seeking and selfish like human passions. The one who loves seeks to give himself entirely to his beloved for her greater good. Of all human beings, none has received more of this grace than the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is rightfully called "the honor of our people" in today's Epistle. When a woman conceives a child, she sacrifices her body and gives it to take care of the child while he is in the womb, and even afterward as she nurses him. This sacrifice, within the context of a loving marriage created by God through the Rite of our holy Mother the Church, is a most noble sacrifice.
The Blessed Virgin offered her body up to God to take care of Him while He was in her womb and then to nurse Him. That is an even more noble sacrifice, since it is offered to God directly. For this reason, the Holy Ghost (Who is the Blessed Virgin's Spouse) in today's Epistle rightly says of Our Lady, "Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth." Her whole life, Our Lady remained in this state of grace that she had from her conception. Not once did she ever abandon that love for sinful pleasures. Never did she betray that grace in favor of a life of sin. Then, at the end of her earthly life, she was taken to Heaven where she is eternally united to that same love which filled her on earth. She was taken to Heaven, not just in soul, but in body as well, since it would be most inappropriate for a body so offered to God to be allowed to decay. Now she reigns in Heaven as Our Queen and Mother.
We on the other hand, did not even have grace at all until our baptism. Then filled with the Holy Ghost, we proceeded to betray this love in favor of the empty and passing pleasures of sin. We found a life with God to be too difficult. We ran away after the easy pleasures of the world. We degraded our bodies though sin. We wasted away our lives on sin. We only get to live life once and we wasted ours on sin. We separated ourselves from that love, and since Heaven is just simply union with Him, we separated ourselves from Heaven. We separated ourselves from the union that Our Lady has enjoyed so perfectly-at every moment and forever in Heaven. Between being born in a state of sin (original sin) and the many sins we have committed, it seems we have been in a state of grace only a few moments and have wasted so much of our lives on sin. That is time we will never get back, which only opens our eyes more to the severity of sin.
Today is the day that we pray to Our Lady, Assumed body and soul into Heaven because she was so joined to God and offered herself, body and all, to God, that we might be re-joined to that grace that pours forth from God. We pray that we might be purified from our sins and that the effects of our sins might be destroyed. Today is the day we pray that we might be rejoined to God and His love that we one day might be in Heaven both body and soul, after the resurrection of the dead at the end of time; that we might share in the Assumption.