August 15, 2021 — Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
RV 11:19A, 12:1-6A, 10AB; PS 45:10, 11, 12, 16; 1 COR 15:20-27; LK 1:39-56
Today we celebrate the Assumption of Mary. This Solemnity celebrates the end of Mary’s earthly life — the moment she was taken up, body and soul, into heaven.
This day points to the resurrection of Christ and reminds us of the hope in our resurrection one day. Yet it also reveals much about our Holy Mother. Next to her Divine Son, Mary truly is the model steward for us as we journey through this life.
Our Gospel recounts the story of Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth who was soon to deliver John the Baptist. The passage captures the moment Mary encounters Elizabeth. Upon seeing Mary, John leaps inside the womb of Elizabeth.
Mary truly is a dwelling place for Christ. Even baby John the Baptist noticed as he leaped in his mother’s womb! We too are called to be a dwelling place for the Lord. Yet for Christ to dwell in us, we must prepare our hearts for Him.
Mary was prepared for Christ to reside in her, and her Magnificat expresses how we can imitate her and prepare a place for Christ in ourselves: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
How can we proclaim the ‘greatness of the Lord?’ It is simply by how we choose to live our lives. Each day is an opportunity to grow as a disciple of Christ. We can choose to rise each day in prayer, respond to those around us in kindness, serve in our vocations and occupations from a place of love and selflessness, and use our gifts and talents for the glory of God.
These everyday moments are simply how Mary glorified God and welcomed Him into her heart. She carried a child, took care of her family, remained faithful to God in prayer and traditions, and served her relatives and those around her just as we do today.
How can ‘our spirits rejoice in God our Savior?’ Mary teaches us that to rejoice in the Lord, we must know Him. And the best way to know someone is to spend quality time with them. Mary was constantly praying or “contemplating” the mysteries of God in her heart. Through a routine of prayer — the undivided time between us and God — we will begin to rejoice more fully in the Lord.
Mary also shows us that to rejoice in the Lord, we must have a heart of gratitude. She expresses her gratitude to God in her greeting to Elizabeth, “for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and Holy is His name.”
In all the greatness Mary experienced, she never lost sight of the Gracious Giver. We all have abundant blessings, both big and small. We need to remember to look through the lens of gratitude as we live each moment by recognizing our gifts and proclaiming prayers of thanksgiving.
It is when we take the focus off ourselves and place the focus on God that we begin to proclaim His greatness and rejoice in Him. It is then that we become a dwelling place for Christ — a steward of God in the world like Mary.
As we reflect on the life of Mary today, how fitting it is that God prepared a place for her in eternal life. Let us celebrate her as our Mother, our Queen, and a Model Steward. She is not distant or out of reach, rather, she is as close to us as a mother to her baby — constantly watching, interceding, and guiding us to be with her Divine Son in eternal life.