Thursday, 15 August 2013
Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Today, the 15th of August, is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. This doctrine of the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, was solemnly defined by Venerable Pope Pius XII on the 1st of November 1950, in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus. If you wish to read the full text click here.
It was the wish of the Venerable Pontiff that the solemn definition of this dogma would remind us all of our own final destiny, and thinking on that we would aim for Heavenly glory. This teaching, this truth of the Catholic Faith, reminds us and in fact shows us what awaits those who faithfully follow God and live a life of sanctity and virtue. And what is that? If we live a life of virtue, and persevere in the grace and friendship of God, we know that He will reward us by raising us up, body and soul, into the glory of Paradise. Our bodies, as well as our souls, are destined for great and holy things, so we should not corrupt them by foul sin. Nor should we be deceived by the passing vanities of the pleasures and honours of this empty world. The only true honour and glory is that of being a pure child of God. And it is Holy Mary, who was the most perfect child of God, after the very Son of God Himself, that will help us poor creatures to live a life worthy of the destiny we are called to.
It was granted to the Blessed Virgin Mary alone to receive the great privilege of being assumed into Heaven, body and soul, without having to wait for the General Judgement, like the rest of mankind. And as is explained in the above mentioned Apostolic Constitution, God saw fit to preserve His Blessed Virgin Mother from the corruption of the grave, as He had already preserved her from the corruption of sin.
But while us poor sinners must all face death and the subsequent corruption of the grave, those of us who die in the friendship or grace of God, have the blessed hope that we too will be raised up- and this hope is reinforced, not only by the glorious Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord Jesus, but by the Assumption of His Holy Mother too. For the Mother was like unto the Son- she was His perfect imitator and follower. And this should give us unbounded hope and courage, because she is also our Mother, and she wishes to help us reach Heaven.
But there is more, something pertinent to this blog. While the world, and in this case, while Somalia is trapped in a whirlpool of sin, violence and corruption; a paralyzing and seemingly unending tale of woes and sorrow. It is the glorious Assumption of Mary that cuts through the jungle of darkness and sin, and blazes a bright light of hope and true freedom from all the mayhem. Because the Assumption reminds us, as mentioned already, that this life here below is not our final end. That the true purpose of all mankind is to love and serve God, and to be with Him, happy and glorious in Paradise.
It is easy to become discouraged by the continual flow of tragedy and killing that swamps Somalia- but Our Lady Mary gives us hope- because she is a clear proof to the world that God has not abandoned us.
And for you, my dear Brothers and Sisters of Somalia, you who are true believers in the Son of God and His Holy Church, remember that Holy Mary suffered in hiding and fear too. She was the bulwark of the early Church, when all around the forces of the devil sought to extinguish the light of the infant Church. But through her prayers she gave strength and courage to the Apostles, and they went bravely to preach the Gospel- even at the cost of their lives. Holy Mary remembers you in your suffering now, and be sure she will pray for your strength and courage. Have no fear. God is with you, if Holy Mary is with you.
Let us all turn to this Blessed and Holy Mother of God and ask her to bless and protect us, and give us the graces we need to be faithful to God, and to one day join her in Heaven, singing the praises of Our Holy God.
Mother Mary, Assumed gloriously body and soul in Heaven, pray for us and for Somalia! Amen.