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Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

CURATED HOMILY TRANSCRIPTS

Fr. Austin Fleming says that he “posts this delightful painting not out of any irreverence or even playfulness but rather because the feast of the real Assumption is upon us and, as on all feasts of the Blessed Virgin, we need to discover how what happened in her life and love for God relates to our own.”  (Detail from The Assumption of Bertha Huber by Marcia Sandmeyer Wilson)
Fr. Austin Fleming

THE ASSUMPTION OF BERTHA HUBER

A CONCORD PASTOR COMMENTS | 2015

If this painting offends, please accept my apology. I post it here not out of any irreverence or even playfulness but rather because the feast of the real Assumption is upon us and, as on all feasts of the Blessed Virgin, we need to discover how what happened in her life and love for God relates to us. The painter, Marcia Sandmeyer Wilson, writes:

This 16×20 oil painting is called The Assumption of Bertha Huber. It is the third version I have done of this theme. Miss Huber was godmother to my three children. She died at age 87 in August, 1975 and I told the children I would paint what it ‘really’ looked like.

Miss Huber was from Munich so I know she was expecting nice blond angels waiting for her in heaven… (I)n the first version I also had little pug dog angels because Miss Huber was very fond of our dogs.

At the bottom of the painting is supposed to be me and the three children weeping for her at the nursing home where she had expired just moments before our arrival. It was a very good nursing home, by the way, named Calvary, in the Bronx.

Fr. Michael Chua

MARY – SIGN OF GOD’S GRACE

KUALA LUMPUR | 2018

How did a simple Jewish woman, with very little education, come to be exalted as the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven? Its all God’s grace. This is what we are celebrating today. Unlike what Protestants may think of us, we are not celebrating the glory of Mary in herself but we are celebrating the wonderful works of God and his abundant grace, seen and proven in this person, Mary. Mary is assumed into heaven only because of God’s grace. It is God’s grace that is able to transform a humble and simple person like Mary into the person whom we admire today. Therefore, on this Feast day, it is God whom we are glorifying and praising. To criticize this feast and to reject it would be to cast doubts on the power of God to do the impossible.

 

DEACON Frederick Bauerschmidt

ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

HOMILETIC DIAKONIA | 2018

Although we habitually speak of heaven as “up” and of hell as “down,” I suspect that most of us know, as most Christians have always known, that neither place can be reached by traversing a physical distance. Indeed, a number of years ago Pope John Paul II reiterated the traditional Christian view, saying, “the ‘heaven’ or ‘happiness’ in which we will find ourselves is neither an abstraction nor a physical place in the clouds, but a living, personal relationship with the Holy Trinity” (General Audience, Wednesday 21 July 1999). In other words, “heaven” is not so much a place as it is a state of being.
It is good to remind ourselves of this when we celebrate a feast such as the one we celebrate today. Today, the feast of the Assumption, we celebrate our belief
that Mary, upon her death, was taken body and soul into heavenly glory. Already in the 451 AD, when the Emperor Marcian asked the bishop of Jerusalem to bring Mary’s bones to Constantinople so that they might be placed in the cathedral there, the bishop responded to his request by saying that, “Mary had died in the presence of the apostles; but her tomb, when opened later . . . was found empty and so the apostles concluded that the body was taken up into heaven.” Universal acceptance of this belief developed over the centuries in the Church until it was solemnly defined by Pope Pius XII in 1950 as part of the official body of teachings of the Catholic Church.,…
Fr. Evans K Chama, M.Afr

ASSUMPTION, ACT OF REDEMPTION

SINGLE HUMANITY | 2018

15th of August we celebrate the solemnity of the assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; her passing from death to life, from earthly life to the glory of heaven. It’s good to note that we are not spectators of the marvels God has done in Mary’s life. Rather, we celebrate our hope for we also look forward to the joy of heaven. Mary has only preceded us. But where does this feast come from? How does it nourish our life as Christians?

On 1st November 1950, Pope Pius XII solemnly declared: “the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” He did this after consulting Catholic bishops all over the world: “Do you, with your clergy and the people desire to define the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin as Catholic teaching?”

Here the pope only declared officially the matter of faith which Christians had already been commemorating for over 1600 years. Of course, we don’t find the assumption in the Bible, yet, it’s part of the tradition that extends way back to early Church. And that’s what we mean when we pray in the creed: we believe in the Apostolic Church; it’s a church that nourishes its faith not only with what is in the Bible but also with tradition, relayed from one generation to another –starting from the apostles.

Fr. Chama’s homily is divided into the following sections:

Feast of Assumption in History
Assumption, celebration of our hope
Yes, Mary’s greatness
Assumption, act of redemption

Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino

MARY, THE GREATEST OF US

DIOCESE OF ST. PETERSBURG | 2021

The greatest of us all is a woman.  Mary brought a new dignity to every woman who has ever lived and who ever will live. Women bring life into the world and nurture this life.  Because Mary sacrificed herself for us, our women bring unique reflections of God into the world, and nurture His Image with their bodies and with their lives.  Women are life givers.  Christian women give life to the Divine.  Women are sources of love, carriers of love and nourishers of love.  In these days when the most lucrative industry in the world is the pornography industry, where mainly young girls are exploited, Mary reminds us of the Dignity and Respect that are the natural rights of every female among us.  We men are reminded that it is our obligation to care for and protect our women, be they little girls, teens, wives, singles, widows or the elderly.  Recently, the young men in our youth group have been meeting to pray for our young women.  All men need to pray for those among us whose biblical origin was a gift from God to Adam.

 In these days of the glorification of the self, Mary reminds us of a person whose body and spirit were created for another.  She said “Yes” to the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation and allowed God to radically change her life. She nurtured and cared for the child that others wanted dead.  She supported Jesus as a young man when some thought he was deranged.  She stood with Him as He was tortured to death to complete the Father’s plan of redemption.

Related Homilies

The Assumption: We Pray to Our Mother in Heaven (2010)

Fr. ROGER J. LANDRY

MARY: MODEL OF VIRTUES

CATHOLIC PREACHING | 2010

Pope John Paul II tells us in his beautiful exhortation on the Mother of the Redeemer that Mary is the guide for us on our pilgrimage of faith home.

He says that she “helps all her children, wherever they may be and whatever their condition, to find in Christ the path to the Father’s House.”

She does this by serving for us as a “model of the virtues” which allow us, whenever we raise our eyes to her, to learn the path to grow in holiness through conquering sin. She shows us, as she showed the first apostles, how to pray. She trains us, as she trained them, to receive and respond to the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. She demonstrates for us how to welcome the Son of God within us and to do whatever he tells us. She “mirrors within her,” Pope John Paul II says, the “central truths of the faith and the mighty works of God.” But she’s more than a model, she’s also an intercessor. In heaven, she imitates her Son for whom to reign is to serve. She serves us by her prayer, by her interceding for us for what we need, just like she interceded for the young couple in Cana before they even knew what they needed. She guides us on our pilgrimage not merely from afar, in other words, but right next to us, helping us in whatever ways we need it.

This is because the pilgrimage that each of us is called to walk in, and all of us are called to walk together, is not an easy or safe one. The first reading today focuses on the dragon, symbolizing the devil, who is constantly warring against the woman and against her offspring, which means not just Jesus but us.

Fr. George Smiga

THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY: AN EXAMPLE FOR ORDINARY TIME

BUILDING ON THE WORD | 2003

There are many stories in the Gospels, and most of them are filled with wonder and drama. A choir of angels sing at Jesus’ birth. The heavens open as Jesus is baptized in the Jordan. Jesus heals the blind and walks on water. And of course the great event of our faith how Jesus on the third day is raised from the dead.  Today’s gospel does not seem to fit into this august company.  It recalls a simple event – Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth.  There is no miracle, and there is little drama—just two pregnant women rejoicing in God’s goodness.  Now at first we might be inclined to dismiss this gospel and consider it secondary to the other more dramatic scenes in the New Testament.  But that would be a mistake, because the purpose of this simple story is to be the scriptural witness to the importance of the ordinary.  The ordinary does not only comprise the majority of our lives, it is often the most important part of our lives.

Most of our lives are ordinary. We have some dramatic moments that we recall, like the day we met our spouse, or our first job, or the birth of a child, or the death of a parent.  But most of our days are comprised of the ordinary routine, the repeating schedule of events. After they pass it is even hard to recall what happened, to remember what we did last Tuesday. Today’s Gospel helps us to appreciate such ordinary time.  Mary’s visit to Elizabeth does not change the course of history.  But it does bind these two women together in a relationship of friendship and love.  It nurtures between them a relationship of trust and a relationship of faithfulness. That is no small matter.  Because I believe that when we look back at the end of our lives, it will not be the dramatic highlights but rather the ordinary days of our lives that determine who we are.

Fr. LARRY RICHARDS

WHAT HAS MARY’S ASSUMPTION TO DO WITH US?

THE REASON FOR OUR HOPE | 1999

Today is one of my favorite feasts. I love Marian feasts. Last night I had Mass and I asked, “What is the Assumption about?” They didn’t know until finally one Prep kid said, “Mary was taken body and soul into to heaven.” Right! But then we might ask “So what that Mary was taken body and soul into heaven! What does that have to do with me? Why should I believe that? Does it have anything to do with my life? Or with the life of Christianity? I don’t think I believe it.” You must believe it as a Catholic. It’s not an option. It’s a dogma. It’s revelation! You must believe that. But why? Mary was taken body and soul into heaven because of Christ. Go with me to 1 Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 20. This is the second reading “Christ is now raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man. Hence the resurrection of the dead came through man also. Just as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will come to life again. But each in its proper order. Christ, the first fruit, and then at his coming all those who belong to him.”

Fr. Eugene Lobo, S.J.

ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

SUNDAY REFLECTIONS | 2021

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, body and soul into heaven is one of the last dogmas of the Roman Church to be formulated and declared. It was formally declared by Pope Pius XII in 1950, but the idea of it has been around for centuries. It is not Biblical, meaning that there is no mention of it at all in the Bible, but as early as the 6th century we have writings of St. Gregory of Tours who spoke of Mary being taken up to heaven. Thus, it is one of those long-standing beliefs that have been codified into an essential teaching of the faith.Most Catholics have a strong devotion to Mary going back to their early childhood. Mary has always had a central place in our hearts. This is not true of many of the other Christian faiths, however, who rely less on tradition and only on what is stated in the Bible for their belief system, and so it has always been a bit of a mystery to them why Catholics revere Mary so much. However, our religion is very personal because we have a mother who cares for us. Again, the teachings about Mary seem to be very logical, as we believe in her virgin birth and accept she who had to be mother of God had to be without the stain of original sin to which all of us human beings are subject. It was through original sin that death came into the world according to the Scriptures, and so Mary, being without original sin should not die.

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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HOMILY SUGGESTIONS

Along with Easter and the Ascension, today’s feast is a perfect opportunity to preach about the Christian truth of the victory of life over death. Christ is life, and he shares his victory over death with all the members of his Body, the Church. That is why Mary, who was and is closer to him than anyone else, is the first to share, body and soul, in this victory.

The truth of her bodily assumption likewise reminds us that human beings are not disembodied souls, but rather a unity of body and soul. This is a critically important truth to emphasize, given that the culture of death so often relies on a “dualism” that says that it’s only the spirit (good intentions, love, etc.) that matters, while “what we do with our bodies” really is of little consequence – whether it means sexual relations, or destroying the body by abortion or euthanasia. On the contrary, the truth is that the body is just as much an aspect of the person as is the soul. To attack the body is to attack the person.

Finally, the Assumption reminds us that in God’s plan for life, mother and child go together. The pro-life movement stands with both the mother and the child and asks, “Why can’t we love them both?” In bringing Mary to bodily glory with him, Jesus shows that there can be no closer human bond than that between a mother and her child.

GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

General Intercessions

Celebrant: Blessed is she who trusted that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled. Like Mary, let us now trust that he will hear our prayers.

Deacon/Lector:

That the Church, like the Virgin Mary, may bring Christ into the world with joy, and be joined with him in endless life, we pray to the Lord…

That the Assumption of Mary may awaken government leaders to the supreme dignity of each human life, which is called to the heights of heavenly glory, we pray to the Lord…

For all mothers, that they may find in Mary the example and strength to carry out their vocation, we pray to the Lord…

That the sick may draw strength, consolation, and healing by turning to Mary, who intercedes for us from her place in heaven, we pray to the Lord…

That all who mourn for departed loved ones may take courage from this Feast and find renewed hope in the promised resurrection, we pray to the Lord…

Celebrant:

Father,
by bringing Mary body and soul
to heavenly glory,
You give us new hope.
May we never doubt
that you will hear and answer our prayers,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

SOURCE: Priests for Life

Life Issues Homilies

Lifeissues.net website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

The Fourth Glorious Mystery: Mary’s Assumption

Anthony Zimmerman

The fourth glorious mystery puts us into direct communication with our own most blessed Mother to whom Christ entrusted us from the cross. A mother is one with whom we can share all secrets, one who listens to whatever we say, one who never lets us wander far from her sight.


The Mary of Piety

Ronald Rolheiser

Devotional prayer to Mary, the mother of Jesus, has always been the center-piece within Catholic piety. Among other things, those devotions have focused upon various Marian shrines, places where Mary allegedly appeared, Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe, Medjugarie, among other places.


Innocence, Complexity, and Sanctity

Ronald Rolheiser

Some years ago, I officiated at a wedding. As the officiating priest, I was invited to the reception and dance that followed upon the church service. Not knowing the family well and having church services the next morning, I left right after the banquet and the toasts, just as the dancing was about to start. When I was seemingly out of earshot, I heard the bride’s father say to someone: “I’m glad that Father has gone; now we can celebrate with some rock music!”

Lifeissues.net website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

EWTN Pro-Life Weekly

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Laudato Si’ – POPE FRANCIS
In [Mary’s] glorified body, together with the Risen Christ, part of creation has reached the fullness of its beauty. She treasures the entire life of Jesus in her heart and now understands the meaning of all things. Hence, we can ask her to enable us to look at this world with eyes of wisdom. (241)

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