The Gospel reading for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is Luke 1:39-56.

Mary, having accepted God’s will for her to become the “Mother of God” and informed of her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy, travels for four days (some 80 miles) to the hill country of Judea (Joseph very likely accompanied Mary on this dangerous journey). Elizabeth is miraculously moved by the Holy Spirit upon Mary’s arrival. Without being told Mary is pregnant (only a few weeks into her pregnancy, Mary does not “show”), Elizabeth recognizes (“Blessed are you…blessed is the fruit of your womb”) Mary’s miraculous conception. Elizabeth is divinely inspired to exalt Mary as “the mother of my Lord.” Mysteriously, Mary’s voice is heard by John the Baptist, still three months away from brith in Elizabeth’s womb, and causes John to leap with joy.

Mary full of humble joy, directs attention to the glory and praise of God. Mary’s joyous Magnificat (Latin: “magnifies”) is a divinely inspired and poetic hymn of praise to God for His blessings throughout Salvation History. The Magnificat starts with Mary’s grateful response to the blessings that God has bestowed upon her. Astoundingly, Mary prophetically announces that “all generations will call me blessed.” Mary glorifies God and His intervention in the lives of men across time.

The Assumption is the infallible dogma of the Catholic faith which recognizes that after her life on earth was fulfilled, the Blessed Virgin Mary was “take up body and soul into heavenly glory” (CCC 966). The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated since the earliest days of the Church and reminds Catholics of Mary’s unique participation in her Son’s Resurrection and of the hopeful anticipation of the resurrection of all the Catholic faithful.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ even in the earliest stages of gestation in Mary’s womb has a powerful impact on Elizabeth and the unborn John. Son of Mary, Christ fills His mother with joy and inspires Mary to give Him glory; after His Resurrection, He raises the His Blessed Mother in the Assumption.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Be awed that Christ, though still in the early stages of human development in Mary’s womb, enthralls Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and the unborn John the Baptist and moves them to joy.

2) The Blessed Virgin Mary is venerated in the Church (CCC 1172) as the Holy Mother of God (CCC 466, 495, 509). Reflect upon the Blessed Virgin’s perfect example of Holiness (CCC 2030), Obedience of Faith (CCC 144, 148-149, 494), Hope (CCC 64) and Witness to the Faith (CCC 165, 273); pray for Mary to ask Christ to give you the grace to become more holy.

3) As demonstrated by Resurrection of Christ and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, man is destined for life after earthly death, to reside eternally either in Heaven or Hell. Reflect upon the Resurrection of the Body (CCC 988-1013) and ask Mary to “pray for us now and at the hour of our death.”

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Guardian Angels

Virtue of the Day – Justice

Corporal Work of Mercy – To clothe the naked

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To counsel the doubtful