Let us ask Mary today to make us the gift of her faith, that faith which enables us already to live in the dimension between finite and infinite, that faith which also transforms the sentiment of time and the passing of our existence, that faith in which we are profoundly aware that our life is not retracted by the past but attracted towards the future, towards God, where Christ, and behind him Mary, has preceded us.
By looking at Mary's Assumption into Heaven we understand better that even though our daily life may be marked by trials and difficulties, it flows like a river to the divine ocean, to the fullness of joy and peace. We understand that our death is not the end but rather the entrance into life that knows no death. Our setting on the horizon of this world is our rising at the dawn of the new world, the dawn of the eternal day.
"Mary, while you accompany us in the toil of our daily living and dying, keep us constantly oriented to the true homeland of bliss. Help us to do as you did".
Dear brothers and sisters, dear friends who are taking part in this celebration this morning, let us pray this prayer to Mary together. In the face of the sad spectacle of all the false joy and at the same time of all the anguished suffering which is spreading through the world, we must learn from her to become ourselves signs of hope and comfort; we must proclaim with our own lives Christ's Resurrection.
"Help us, Mother, bright Gate of Heaven, Mother of Mercy, source through whom came Jesus Christ, our life and our joy. Amen".
SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Papal Summer Residence, Castel Gandolfo
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today, in the heart of what Latin-speakers called the "feriae Augusti", the August holidays, from which the Italian term "ferragosto" derives - the Church celebrates the Assumption into Heaven of the Virgin Mary, body and soul. The last reference to her earthly life in the Bible is found at the beginning in the book of the Acts of the Apostles, which presents Mary gathered in prayer with the disciples in the Upper Room, waiting for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1: 14). Subsequently a double tradition - in Jerusalem and in Ephesus - attests to her "Dormition", as Eastern-rite believers say, that is, her "falling asleep" in God. This was the event that preceded her passing from this earth to Heaven, professed by the uninterrupted faith of the Church. In the eighth century, by establishing a direct relationship between the "Dormition" of Mary and Jesus' death, for example, John Damascene, renowned doctor of the Eastern Church, explicitly affirms the truth of her bodily assumption. In a famous homily he wrote: "She who nursed her Creator as an infant at her breast, had a right to be in the divine tabernacles" (Sermon II: On the Assumption, 14, PG 96, 741B).
As the Second Vatican Council teaches, Mary Most Holy should always be seen in the mystery of Christ and of the Church. In this perspective: "the Mother of Jesus in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come (cf. 2 Peter 3: 10)" (Lumen Gentium, n. 68). From Paradise, especially in difficult times of tribulation, Our Lady always continues to watch over her children whom Jesus himself entrusted to her from the Cross before dying. How many are the testimonies of this motherly concern found in visiting shrines dedicated to her! At this moment I think especially of the unique citadel of life and hope that is Lourdes. I shall be going there in a month's time, please God, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Marian apparitions that took place there.
Mary assumed into Heaven points out to us the final destination of our earthly pilgrimage. She reminds us that our whole being - spirit, soul and body - is destined for fullness of life; that those who live and die in love of God and of their neighbour will be transfigured in the image of the glorious Body of the Risen Christ; that the Lord will cast down the proud and exalt the humble (cf. Luke 1: 51-52). With the mystery of her Assumption Our Lady proclaims this eternally. May you be praised for ever, O Virgin Mary! Pray the Lord for us.
After the Angelus:
I am happy to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for this Angelus prayer. As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, we are invited to raise our eyes to heaven and contemplate Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother. She who on earth believed in God's word is now glorified in body and soul. May Mary's prayers and example guide you always and renew your hearts in faith and hope. May God grant you and your families abundant blessings of peace and joy!
Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on 15 August 2011 > Encouragements-133
SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Courtyard of the Papal Summer Residence, Castel Gandolfo
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In the heart of August Christians of both East and West jointly celebrate the Feast of the Assumption into Heaven of Mary Most Holy. In the Catholic Church the Dogma of the Assumption — as is well known — was proclaimed in the Holy Year of 1950 by my venerable Predecessor, the Servant of God Pope Pius XII. The roots of this commemoration, however, are deeply embedded in the faith of the early centuries of the Church.
In the East, it is still known today as the “Dormition of the Virgin”. An ancient mosaic in the Basilica of St Mary Major, Rome, that was inspired precisely by the Eastern image of the “Dormitio”, portrays the Apostles, who, alerted by Angels of the end of the earthly life of the Mother of Jesus, gathered at the Virgin’s bedside. In the centre is Jesus, who has a little girl in his arms: she is Mary, who has become “little” for the Kingdom, being taken to Heaven by the Lord.
In the passage of today’s liturgy from St Luke’s Gospel, we read that “in those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah” (Luke 1:39). In those days Mary hastened from Galilee to a little town in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem to go and see her kinswoman Elizabeth. Today we contemplate her going up towards God’s mountain and entering the heavenly Jerusalem, “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Revelation 12:1).
The biblical passage of the Book of Revelation, which we read in the liturgy of this Solemnity, speaks of a struggle between the woman and the dragon, between good and evil. St John seems to be presenting to us anew the very first pages of the Book of Genesis that recount the dark and tragic event of the sin of Adam and Eve. Our first parents were defeated by the Evil One; in the fullness of time, Jesus, the new Adam, and Mary, the new Eve, were to triumph over the enemy once and for all, and this is the joy of this day! With Jesus' victory over evil, inner and physical death are also defeated.
Mary was the first to take in her arms Jesus, the Son of God, become a child; she is now the first to be beside him in the glory of Heaven.
Today we are celebrating a great mystery. It is above all a mystery of hope and joy for all of us: in Mary we see the destination for which are bound all who can interpret their life according to the life of Jesus, who are able to follow him as Mary did. This Feast, then, speaks of our future. It tells us that we too shall be beside Jesus in God’s joy and invites us to take heart, to believe that the power of Christ’s Resurrection can also work in us, making us men and women who seek every day to live as risen ones, bringing the light of goodness into the darkness of the evil in the world.
After the Angelus:
I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors gathered for this Angelus prayer on the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady. May the example and prayers of Mary, Queen of Heaven, inspire and sustain us on our pilgrimage of faith, that we too may attain the glory of the Resurrection and the fulfillment of our hope in her Son’s promises. Upon you and your families I invoke the Lord’s richest blessings!
I wish everyone a good Feast of the Assumption! Thank you! Have a good Feast Day!
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homilies of Pope Benedict XVI, so that they could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.
HOLY MASS ON THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION
HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS
World Cup Stadium (Daejeon)
In union with the whole Church, we celebrate the Assumption of Our Lady, body and soul, into the glory of heaven. Mary’s Assumption shows us our own destiny as God’s adoptive children and members of the body of Christ. Like Mary our Mother, we are called to share fully in the Lord’s victory over sin and death, and to reign with him in his eternal Kingdom. This is our vocation.
The “great sign” presented in today’s first reading invites us to contemplate Mary enthroned in glory beside her divine Son. It also invites us to acknowledge the future which even now the Risen Lord is opening before us. Koreans traditionally celebrate this feast in the light of their historical experience, seeing the loving intercession of Our Lady at work in the history of the nation and the lives of its people.
In today’s second reading, we heard Saint Paul tell us that Christ is the new Adam, whose obedience to the Father’s will has overturned the reign of sin and bondage and inaugurated the reign of life and freedom (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:24-25). True freedom is found in our loving embrace of the Father’s will. From Mary, full of grace, we learn that Christian freedom is more than liberation from sin. It is freedom for a new, spiritual way of seeing earthly realities. It is the freedom to love God and our brothers and sisters with a pure heart, and to live a life of joyful hope for the coming of Christ’s Kingdom.
Today, in venerating Mary, Queen of Heaven, we also turn to her as Mother of the Church in Korea. We ask her to help us to be faithful to the royal freedom we received on the day of our Baptism, to guide our efforts to transform the world in accordance with God’s plan, and to enable the Church in this country to be ever more fully a leaven of his Kingdom in the midst of Korean society. May the Christians of this nation be a generous force for spiritual renewal at every level of society. May they combat the allure of a materialism that stifles authentic spiritual and cultural values and the spirit of unbridled competition which generates selfishness and strife. May they also reject inhumane economic models which create new forms of poverty and marginalize workers, and the culture of death which devalues the image of God, the God of life, and violates the dignity of every man, woman and child.
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31 August 2014