With the entire Church on earth and in Heaven, with all the angels and saints, today we honour the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and our Mother. With hearts overflowing with joy we consider the privilege this humble woman has received in being conceived immaculate, chosen to be Mother of God, and now glorified in body and soul in Heaven with her Divine Son. Mary is not aloof from us. She is our mother. Raised to the heights of glory, she continues to look down upon us with maternal concern and sollicitude.
As she looks at us today, as she considers the world with the waves of sin and violence that continue to cause so much suffering, what might she be thinking and what might she be wanting to get across to us? I suggest the answer is furnished in the Magnificat which the Church today presents as the Gospel reading, and in particular these words: “Exaltavit humiles — He has exalted the lowly”. Yes, what makes Mary great is that she is lowly in her own eyes. Far from being lifted up with pride, she humbles herself even more before God, giving Him all praise for the marvels of grace He has wrought in her.
She might also invite us to look to her as an example of purity. Our world is more than ever handed over to all the evils and diseases and violence which are the normal cortege of the unbridled vice of lust. As those filthy waves furl over the world and spare not even the Church and the men who should be models of all virtue, Mary Immaculate is calling us to look to her, to pray to her, to ask her to sustain us in the battle for purity. Staying close to God through prayer and the sacraments, staying close to the Mother of Jesus, is the secret to being pure, and by being pure and humble, we will persevere in the joy and serenity of a Christian life whose ultimate goal is nothing less than glorification with Jesus and Mary, one day, in glory.
And that’s perhaps the most consoling lesson of the Assumption: in Mary as in Jesus, the flesh, our human body is resplendent with glory; it is beyond corruption; it will never die nor fade away; even the flesh will take part in the eternal glory of paradise.
Such a thought should inspire us with the greatest respect for our bodies and those of others. It should give us a renewed sense of personal dignity, one that is grounded in humility because it is grounded in the truth that we receive all from God and are utterly dependent upon His mercy.
“His mercy is from age to age, to those who fear Him.”