Thank you for joining me as we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Almighty ever-living God, who assumed the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of your Son, body and soul into heavenly glory, grant, we pray, that, always attentive to the things that are above, we may merit to be sharers of her glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
I have a riddle for you:
Question: How many minutes does it take for a group of converts to begin a conversation about Mary?
Answer: Less than two
We recently had dinner with a group of Catholics. Of the six people in the group, four were converts. Have you noticed that whenever converts get together, the topic of conversation quickly goes to Mary? Actually, it really did take less than two minutes to begin a discussion of the Mother of God. Although Mary didn’t have much to say in Scripture, there is much to say about Mary.
I have known some Catholics who had a very strong devotion to Mary, and I can understand that some Protestants might think that it seemed they were worshipping her. However, the Catholic Church does not teach that Mary is to be worshiped, but venerated, or honored, in her place, as the Mother of God. Praying to Mary is like calling up your church’s prayer chain and asking for intercession. The difference is is that Mary has a powerful place, at the right hand of the Son of God.
While there are no specific bible verses that point to the Assumption, we do have some references. Before he died, Jesus took care to make sure his mother was entrusted to the care of John (John 19: 25-27). In the Book of Revelation, John recalls a vision he experienced, where he saw the Blessed Virgin Mary clothed in glory. He states in Revelation 12:1, “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.”
St. John Damascene wrote, “Whom once it pleased to take the flesh from the Virgin Mary, and become a man, and be born (of Her)… and who after birth preserved Her virginity incorrupt, it also pleased, after Her passing, to honor Her immaculate body … by translating (it to Heaven) before the common and universal resurrection.” God, who chose the mother of his Son, also chose for the resurrection of her body to be before the end of time.
What does the Assumption of Mary mean for you and me? The short answer is, look up. As we contemplate Mary in heavenly glory, we need to remember that earth is not our homeland, either. With our eyes fixed on eternity, we have the hope of heaven, and will some day share in the same glory.
What the recent group of converts all agreed upon, is the ways that Mary, in her gentleness, has opened our hearts and helped us more deeply love the Church her Son founded. To be sharers of Mary’s glory, we only have to follow her instructions and let our souls magnify the Lord and “do whatever He tells you (John 2:5).”
Lectio the Liturgy: As you go through today, what are the instances that draw your attention to God? Are they from hurt or fear or from thanksgiving? Both are opportunities for prayer to turn your attention to heaven and surrender them to God. Strive to remember that.
Thank you for praying with me,