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8/15/18 Assumption - Fr. Reggie

The foundations of Christ's Kingdom are laid, but he hasn't yet finished building it up.

He is still extending its borders and gathering more and more people into it.

This is the work of the Church militant, the Church on earth: to build up Christ's Kingdom, to bring more and more people into his friendship, so that they follow him and find the meaning their lives are meant to have.

But what will happen at the end of history? 

What will the Church become when the years of building reach their completion?

One of the important lessons of today's Solemnity is precisely the answer to that question.

Christians have always seen the Blessed Virgin Mary as an image of the whole Church. Mary brought the baby Jesus into the world on the first Christmas, took care of him as he grew to manhood, and accompanied him as he fulfilled his mission. The Church as a whole has a similar relationship with the mystical body of Christ - with every Christian, the members of that body. The Church continually brings Christ into the world through her many works of charity and apostolate, and especially through bringing more Christians into the world in baptism. And with her teaching and sacraments, the Church cares for and accompanies her members as they grow to maturity and carry out their missions.

And so, just as God assumed Mary into heaven, body and soul, at the end of her earthly mission, so God will lift the whole Church into perfect communion with himself in heaven at the end of history.

Mary's Assumption, then, is God's promise to us. 

Every Christian who follows Mary's path of humility and fidelity to God's will can look forward to following her into the glories and joys of heaven.

The canticle today that Mary sings is called the Magnificat because of its first word in Latin: Magnificat anima mea dominum (My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord). Some have translated Magnificat as “magnify,” a decision that would horrify any Latin scholar, but it is not completely inappropriate to describe what Mary is feeling. You use a magnifying glass to see something else more clearly. You don’t think much about the glass itself. Mary too through her life wants us to see more clearly the wonders and glory of God, not her own role or accomplishments.

Contemplating the Assumption of Mary into Heaven reminds us that suffering and trials are also gifts from God. It was not easy for Mary, but she made it. Mary’s Assumption reminds us of what awaits us if we accept suffering and trials with patience and faith, desiring to help Our Lord accomplish the work of redemption. Let’s pray today that Mary helps us make the journey to Heaven and one day shine there alongside her and her Son.



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