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Saturday, August 15, 2020

Homily 2020-08-15 Assumption of Mary

Revelations 11:19, 12:1-6, 10; Psalm 45; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26; Luke 1:39-56
Today, we celebrate Mary’s assumption into heaven. When we die, our bodies remain here on earth and our souls meet God and we will know our eternal destiny. When Jesus comes again, our bodies will be restored. Those in heaven will enjoy heaven more because their bodies will be reunited with their souls and those in hell suffer more with their bodies reunited with their souls. In Mary’s case, she is already in heaven, enjoying the presence of God: body and soul. We hope this will be our triumphant state for eternity.
In the Gospel today, Elizabeth pronounced three blessings. Two on Mary and one on Jesus:
  1. Blessed are you among women. Mary is blessed among all women because she bears the Son of God.
  2. Blessed is the fruit of your womb. Elizabeth blessed the fruit of Mary’s womb, Jesus.
  3. Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord. More than her natural relationship with Jesus, Mary is blessed because she believed in the fulfillment of God’s promise to her.
Mary accepts these blessings when she said: surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed. She also speaks of why she is blessed: for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. Her privilege is not from her own merit because she knows God is her Savior because he looked at her lowliness.
The First Reading narrates the battle of the Woman and the dragon. In this battle, the dragon waits for the Woman to give birth to the child who is to rule all the nations so he can devour the child. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there, she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days. The First Reading omits the part where Michael and his angels threw the dragon and his angels from heaven after they fought. Then a loud voice is heard from heaven: Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ. The rest of the chapter continues to describe how the dragon pursues the Woman. But even as the dragon chases her, she was escapes to the desert to her place where she is nourished for some time, away from the face of the serpent. Then the serpent tries to drown her by producing a river but the earth swallowed the waters to save the woman.
Verse 17 tells us: The dragon was angry against the woman and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
So who is this woman? Many say she is the Church. But she cannot be the Church because the Church did not give birth to Jesus. Some say the woman is Israel. While Jesus took his human nature from Israel through Mary, Israel does not have the testimony of Jesus Christ. The only logical explanation is this woman is Mary, the Mother of God, who gave birth to the child who will rule the world with an iron rod. Her seed who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ is the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. She is therefore, the Mother of the Mystical Body of Christ, Mother of the Church.
The dragon was unable to destroy her despite the power he unleashed against her because the Almighty saves her. This is the importance of today’s feast because the Assumption proves what St Paul said in the Second Reading: The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Today, the dragon is working hard against the seed of the woman. We live in a time where evil is good and good is evil. St Paul VI even said the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God. But our salvation is in Jesus Christ and not on any human leader. Our main goal is to be holy just as the Lord is holy. This happens when we let God do to us as he wills. Ephesians 6:12 tells us, our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. This is a war we win by following Jesus Christ our Lord. Yesterday was the feast of St Maximillian Kolbe. He established an organization called the Militia of the Immaculate which published materials to promote devotion to our Lady, the Queen of heaven, who perfectly follows her Son. She leads us into every battle joined by the hosts of angels and saints, not with weapons of fire and metal, but with what 2 Corinthians 6:6-7 tells us in the word of truth, in the power of God, by the armor of justice on the right and on the left. We follow our Queen into battle as she leads us to her Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit, letting God do great things for us and letting him do to us according to his word. Believe that God fulfils what he promises. Take up the armor of God and follow our Lady to a glorious victory so that in the final judgment, we can join her, body and soul, to worship the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in Spirit and Truth for all eternity.

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