HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY
THEME: SAYING YES TO GOD
BY: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
HOMILY FOR MONDAY AUGUST 15 2022
It is always a very beautiful thing to gather around the Table of the Lord as one family in faith, hope and love; in the presence of our heavenly Father, led by our Biggest Brother Jesus Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, especially as we honour their chosen and most holy vessel the Blessed Ever Virgin Mary. The Feast of the Assumption is the celebration of the victory of grace accomplished by God in the life of Mary, the Mother of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. May the grace of God always win victory in our lives; Amen.
In the life of the Virgin Mary, we discover most certainly that God has a future for each of us, “surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jer 29:11). The contours of this future become clearer to us especially when we collaborate with God like Mary did. This beautiful and most excellent future which God has for us manifests itself gradually in the History of Salvation. Mary occupies a very important place in this History by that singular merit accorded to her by God to be the Mother of the Saviour; the Mother of the Emmanuel (Madonna de Emmanuel). Being the Mother of Christ our Biggest Brother, she has also become our Mother in the realm of faith and in the new and eternal covenant that was ratified in the Blood of Christ her Son that was poured out for our sake on the Cross. The First Reading of today (Rev 11:19, 12:1-6, 10) speaks to us about some points in the unfolding of this History of Salvation. It was not always smooth and easy. The History of Salvation contains also very turbulent and discouraging moments; moments of despair and cluelessness. One can also recon with such moments in the life of Mary. The first reading, using apocalyptic tunes and imageries speaks to us about such moments; not just about Mary but also about ourselves, about the Church and about the whole history of humanity’s journey with God. We read of “a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns… and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother.” One mysterious thing about this whole scene is this; how is it that this “woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown” could be so fragile and vulnerable as to experience and endure such aggression from the dragon. From the figurative presentation of this woman, she is of a glorious stock but at the same time, she was under threat. On the one hand, the glorious figure of this woman represents the future which God has for us; every one of us has a stake in this future especially when we sincerely play along with God. On the other hand, the aggression which this woman endured signifies the tensions and difficulties of our daily lives. Certainly, no cross, no crown. Without the stress of cultivation there is never the joy of harvesting (Ps 126:6). The proper disposition to being part of God’s future for us is our Yes to Him; our Yes to His proposals; our Yes to His plans!
The Feast of today is a celebration of one of the most outstanding fruits of Mary’s yes (Fiat) to God, even when she didn’t understand the whole story she was able to produce those words that changed her story and ours; “here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Because of Mary’s Yes to God, as we read in the Gospel Reading (Luke 1:39-56), “all generations will call her blessed.” Because of this Yes of Mary, she was not to experience corruption after her death and she would be assumed into heaven in Body and Soul. This was the message of the solemn definition of the Marian Dogma of Assumption by Pope Pius XII on November 1st 1950 with the document “Munificentissimus Deus.” The Assumption of Mary into heaven is her special share in the glory of her Son. The Second Reading (1 Cor 15:20-26) speaks of this glory of Christ, namely; “Christ has been raised from the dead… so all men and women will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to Him.” Mary is the most eminent member of those who belong to Christ. Her Assumption into heaven in body and soul remains her proper order in partaking in the glory and victory of her Son. As members of Christ by virtue of our baptism and by means of our life of charity, Mary teaches us to always say Yes to God. Whoever that always says Yes to God has nothing to lose! Instead, he or she gains the more. Whoever learns to always say Yes to God will be glorified and adorned like Mary and will also share in the same reward like her in heaven. Saying Yes to God is the surest and shortest path to God’s heart and to acquiring His infinite benefits.
Hail Mary, Dearest Mother and Queen of Heaven, help us always with your most powerful intercession never to be afraid to say Yes to God because whenever we concur with God, we begin to live in the true sense of the word. May our Yes to God bring us to partake definitely in the merits of Christ your Son; Amen. Happy Feast;
Fr Cyril Unachukwu CCE