Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

August 15, 2021
Saint Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
Psalm 45:10, 11, 12, 16
1 Corinthians 15:20-27
Luke 1:39-56

Today we celebrate Mary’s being assumed body-and-soul into heaven. As she shared so closely in Jesus’ life and mission, so now she shares His Resurrection. Today’s solemnity invites us to contemplate the mystery of vocation, response, and love most perfectly exemplified in the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The call and response truly involve authentic freedom on God’s part and on Mary’s part. Neither the call nor the response is pre-determined – they each spring from and bear fruit in real love. Mary is portrayed in the Book of Revelation as being glorified by the sun, moon and stars as her garments. She is further pictured as being pregnant. The birth of Jesus was not just a personally defining moment of her life, but also the focal point of history. The mission of her Son became her own, but the threat to that mission is symbolized by the dragon ready to devour her Son. The dragon we face today is predominantly the dragon of indifference towards God’s love for us and the basic needs of our brother and sister human beings. It appears differently in each of our lives: sometimes preoccupation with self or boredom, often forgetfulness or thoughtlessness, always some sin, some form of selfishness or pride.

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