May God’s gift of grace in Christ rest upon you!
The Church’s calendar this year does not include the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a Holy Day of Obligation because it falls on a Sunday. Like many of you and many disciples through history, I have a deep love and appreciation for Mary the Mother of Jesus. In fact, I recognize that it is through prayer and a living relationship with Mary that I have a deep relationship with Jesus and a greater sense of value for my vocation. For these reasons, I find it most advantageous that we celebrate this Solemnity of Mary and give her honor and recognition as her Son Jesus so much enjoys. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary depicts that when her earthly sojourn was completed, Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven! To have such a feast calls us to pause and consider God’s original plan for the human race, the fall of Adam and Eve, the incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, our own death as Christians and the resurrection of the body. That’s a lot to think about! God created the human race to be with him forever in the intimate union of the beatific vision. Adam and Eve ruptured God’s plan and relationship through disobedience. In response to the sin, God sent his Son– as a man– to heal and restore human nature. Mary was preserved free from any stain of sin to be the pure human being through whom Christ would restore human nature. The first Eve led Adam to sin and became, in a sense, not the “mother of the living” but the mother of the dead. In contrast, Mary, the New Eve, by her obedience to the Annunciation of the angel, brought life to the human race in conceiving the person of the New Adam and by willfully uniting herself to the principal acts of his redemptive mission. Mary cooperated with Jesus in the totality of his mission: in his conception and birth, in his Presentation, in his first public miracle, his passion, crucifixion, ascension and the beginnings of the Church at Pentecost. More exalted than the natural motherhood of Eve, Mary became the mother of the living, Mystical Body of Christ through her discipleship and participation in the work of the Redeemer. Mary was the first among the redeemed (Dun Scotus) and began to share in the fullness of redemption from the moment of her conception (doctrine of the Immaculate Conception), for her whole life on earth, and now in heaven. As disciples of Christ, we rejoice that she stands as a light of hope for the whole human race and is revered as a true mother of love and holiness to all who seek her help and friendship. God bless you all! +++ Fr. Peter