Assumption of the Blesses Virgin Mary (August 15, 2017)

Today, we celebrate the Assumption of Mary. St. Francis de Sales notes:

Holy Tradition teaches us that Mary died and was assumed into heaven in her glorified body. Mary ascended for the honor of her Son and to arouse great holiness in us. She dedicated all of her actions so as to give glory to her Son. Mary also desires that all of our actions glorify her Son.

After her Son’s death, the Mother of Jesus was a reliable witness to the truth of His human nature, as well as a light for the faithful who were in deep affliction. With what devotion she must have loved her holy body, as it was the living source of our Savior’s body. Yet to serve God better, she too had to rest her weary body so as to restore her strength. Assuredly taking care of our bodies is a most excellent act of charity. As the great St. Augustine said, God’s holy love in us places an obligation upon us to love our bodies properly, since they are necessary for good works, constitute part of our person, and will share in eternal happiness.

Indeed, a Christian must love his or her body as a living image of their incarnate Savior, as having issued with him from the same stock, and consequently belonging to him in parentage and blood. Like Mary, we must know our human excellence so as to glorify God through the gifts that God places in us. At the General Resurrection, our mortal bodies will become immortal, and remade like that of Our Lord.

Mary asks us to have her Son reign in our heart. Let us examine the affections of our heart to see that they are in tune, so that like Mary, we can sing of the great things God is doing in us. In all dangers, in all tempests, “Look at this star of the sea, invoke her.” With her favor your ship will arrive at port without disaster and without shipwreck.

(Adapted from Sermons of St. Francis de Sales, L. Fiorelli, Ed.)