Homily – August 15, 2021

St. Paul describes Jesus in this way; He did not consider his equality with God as something to be clung to but he emptied himself becoming as we all are, though without sin and took to himself the form of a slave, the least of human beings, a slave obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Because of this diminishment God exalted him and gave him a name above all others, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The life of Mary parallels the life of Jesus. As a young girl Mary is invited to play a major part in the plan God had for humanity. She would conceive and bear a child by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit and name him Jesus. Mary was promised her son would be great and the Lord God with give him the throne of his ancestor David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever and his kingdom will have no end.

Mary must have remembered these promises as she stood by the cross of Jesus on Calvary. Saw her son robbed of all human dignity, robbed of his reputation as a good man. Jesus’ throne was his cross, his crown was woven thorns, his royal robe was his flesh ripped by whips, his banner the mock title nailed to his cross; Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews.

Jesus called out, my God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Mary sharing in that sense of abandonment must have questioned, what happened to all those promises? But Mary’s trust in the promises of God never faltered.

God the Father vindicated Jesus in Jesus’ resurrection. God the Father vindicated the faith of Mary in her assumption into heaven.

Like the Immaculate Conception the Assumption was not always a dogma of our Catholic faint until Pope Pius 12 rules it so in 1950. It is longstanding tradition in the Orthodox churches of the East. They celebrate the feast of the dormition, the slumbering of Mary.

In his dogmatic decree of 1950 Pope Pius made it a matter of our faith that Mary, having completed her earthly course was taken body and soul to heaven to share in the glory of her risen Son. The Father did not let his holy one see corruption.

This feast celebrates Mary’s un shakable trust in God’s promises.

Despite all odds Mary trusted God to be faithful to God’s promises. Mary’s example challenges us to question ourselves, how trusting are we to God’s promises to us? Jesus promised us; seek and you will find, ask and you will receive, knock and the door will be opened, and especially, when we fret over our past mistakes, there’s the promise, tho your sins be as red as scarlet they will be white as snow, tho they be red as crimson they shall be white as wool.

On this great feast of Mary’s Assumption into heaven we pray for ourselves and for each other for the gift to have share in Mary’s trust that the promises made to her by God would be fulfilled and trust so will God’s promises to us.