HOMILY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
THEME: THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED EVER VIRGIN MARY INTO HEAVEN.
BY: Fr Augustine Nwayobuije Abiagom, CM.
HOMILY: 1. Mary was “assumed” into heaven. God assumed the one whom He chose to beget the Saviour of the world. Mary was taken into the very presence of the Most High and she was crowned “Queen” after her life on earth.
2. The questions; “why did Mary’s body not experience corruption” and “why was Mary assumed into heaven” are two essential questions that require theological elucidation if we are to truly grasp the celebration of today’s Solemnity.
3. Based on Angel Gabriel’s salutation of Mary at the annunciation, She is “full of grace.” To be filled with grace implies “total sanctification” (Luke 1:28).
4. Mary was conceived without sin because she was to carry in her womb the God who is all Holy. A tree is known by the fruit it bears. It is a good tree that bears a good fruit (Matt 7:27-18). Corruption relates to impurity not purity. Mary is “Mother Most Pure” and so, God preserved her body from corruption.
5. Mary is the Ark of the covenant. Where the covenant is, the ark also will be. In the Old Testament, contained in the ark are “the golden pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant” (Heb 9:4). The objects in the ark implicitly annouce the importance and value of the ark.
Mary is the ark of the covenant talked about in Rev 11:19 which appeared in heaven when the heavenly temple of God opened up. She is the Queen clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet and crown of 12 stars on her head and with a child in Rev 12:1-2. The encyclical Munificentissimus Deus of Pope Piux XII, Item 39 elucidates on her victory over sin and death based on Genesis 3:15: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
6. Christ ascended into heaven after His resurrection (Lk 24:51; Acts 1:9), and took his seat at the right handof the Father (Mk 16:19). Mary was assumed into heaven after her life on earth. She was assumed and crowned Queen in Heaven (Rev 11:19; 12:1).
7. By Mary’s assumption and her consequent coronation, she is Queen of heaven and earth and “all generation shall call her blessed because the almighty has done marvels for her” (Lk 1:48-49). On Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, it was the Holy Spirit that prompted the speech of Elizabeth (Lk 1:41-42). In other words, that all generation will call Mary blessed is a divine declaration.
8. The one who was assumed was ardently chaste, she was a virgin (Lk 1:26). Her visit to Elizabeth after she had been conceived of the Holy Spirit shows her profound humility (Lk 1:26-40). She could have considered herself superior to all other women and as such; expected people to come to her and not her to go to people. But she remained humble after having encountered God and conceived of his Holy Spirit. She was caring and loving. Most probably, her visit to Elizabeth was to render her assistance, since her cousin was heavily pregnant at the time (Lk 1:30). Her readiness to accepting the well of God discloses her poverty in spirit and total obedience to God (Lk 1:38).
9. Christ being the first born from the dead (I Cor 15:20) restored humanity to life. The risen Lord did not allow the body of his mother to know corruption. How can the body that inhabited divinity be corrupted? Corruption is due to sin. The body of Mary was sanctified by God to bear the divine word which took flesh and dwelt among us (Jn 1:14).
10. Mary is our mother. Let us keeping honouring her and calling her blessed. She is heavens gift to us. Let us not forget what Jesus said on the Cross: “Woman, behold your son!” and to the disciple he said “Behold, your mother!” (Jn 19:26-27).
11. Anyone who says he or she is a disciple of Christ and does not behold Mary, would definitely need to examine the nature of his or her discipleship.
12. Let us not forget the effect of Mary’s intercessory role at the wedding at Cana in Galilee (Jn 2:1-11). Even though it was not yet time for Jesus to start performing miracles, he had to begin at the concern of his mother. What does this say to us?
Happy Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
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