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Central Idea: The Blessed Virgin Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant.
Reading 1 Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
- The Ark of the Covenant was the beautiful, golden box, made after God’s own design, which held the two tablets of the Law. It was eventually placed in the very center of the Temple in Jerusalem.
- The Ark of the New Covenant is the Blessed Virgin Mary, beautiful and pure, preserved from Original Sin and filled with graces by God’s own design, inside whose womb dwelt our Law, Jesus Christ. She is placed in the heart of Christian devotion and honored with hyperdulia, the highest honor a creature can receive.
Responsorial Psalm PS 45:10, 11, 12, 16
The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
- The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Queen Mother of all Christians. That is, she is the mother of the King, Jesus Christ, and so is honored for her status itself, what God gave her to make her worthy of this status, and what she did herself to merit it.
Reading 2 1 Cor 15:20-27
- Christ is the first to rise from the dead and the rest of us will arise in “proper order” at his second coming. St. Paul is speaking of the resurrection of the body in glory.
- In Mary’s case, the proper order for her was her Assumption into heaven, body and soul, since she never sinned and so it was not fitting for her body to undergo corruption.
Gospel Lk 1:39-56
- For 2000 years, Christians have agreed with and echoed St. Elizabeth’s words: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
- For 2000 years, Christians have agreed with and echoed the Blessed Virgin Mary’s words, “From this day, all generations will call me blessed.” In her, God’s promise to Abraham is fulfilled. God had said to Abraham, “by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves” (Gn 22:18). Now, the great descendant of Abraham has come into the world to redeem it, Jesus Christ. And this happened because the Blessed Virgin Mary said “yes” to God.
Doctrine: The Assumption
- What is the doctrine of the Assumption we celebrate today?
- “[T]he Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death” (CCC 966).
- “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians” (CCC 966).
- Christ rose from the dead with his glorified body never to die again. The Blessed Virgin Mary never experienced physical death, that is, the separation of her body from her soul, because she was preserved at the moment of her own conception from original sin and she never committed an actual sin.
- Her Assumption anticipates the final judgment when God will reunite our bodies with our immortal souls.
- The Queenship of Mary is implicit in her Assumption.
- “The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.” Mary’s beauty is her holiness, fittingly arrayed in the golden glory of her body.
Practical Application: Devotion to the Blessed Virgin
- “The Church rightly honors “the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. . . . The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an ‘epitome of the whole Gospel,’ express this devotion to the Virgin Mary” (CCC 971).
- We properly show this special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary by participating in this liturgical feast.
- We also honor her through Marian prayer, especially the Rosary.
- Why not say the Rosary daily? It can be recited in the family, while walking alone, while driving, before or after daily Mass.
- In honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary, we get back from her much more than we give. The reason is that she mediates for us with her Son. The King of Heaven listens to the petitions of his Queen Mother.