Friday, August 15, 2008

Feast of the Assumption - homily

1) Hope you can join us tonight at SAA Church for the following:
- 7:00 Eucharistic Adoration
- 7:30 Mass for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- 8:15 (+/-) Adoration resumes after Mass; talk on “Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory” (Part I) + Benediction.

2) Today is a HDO (Holy Day of Obligation).
Everything that we have is from God. Everything in our lives – our family, personal gifts, friends, all the good things that happen to us each day – everything is from God. It is so refreshing to meet people who think and act this way. It is so refreshing to meet people who are models of humility. It is great to see people who don’t take themselves too seriously, are honest about their gifts, and that God is the source and giver of their gifts. I enjoy seeing models…of humility.

How much more refreshing is it to see Mary who is a supermodel of humility. Mary was given such an important role in the history of mankind – mother of the Savior. She even acknowledged that “from this day all generations will call me blessed”. She has this huge role as mother of the Savior, and yet she is totally humble, basically telling us that ‘it’s about God, people, it’s not about me’.

She says in today’s Gospel that “the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name”. This is the sign of true humility: to acknowledge that you have gifts and that God is the giver of those gifts. “Great things” was used in the Old Testament for God’s special gifts of love. So, Mary is not only glorifying God, she is teaching about God and his love. She reminds us a few times about God’s “mercy”; again, it’s a reminder of God’s love and how He has been faithful to his people.

Mary identifies herself as a “lowly servant”. She considers herself among the “poor and lowly ones” from the Old Testament. Those who are poor and lowly can identify, then, with this Gospel canticle. They can identify with her. The poor acknowledge that God is the source of all that they have – again, this is true humility. We can learn from the poor because sometimes, in a first world country such as ours, we can take credit for what God has given us, which is pride.

So, on this feast of Mary’s Assumption, body and soul, into Heaven, we celebrate her humility as much as anything. She is exalted for her humility, as Jesus promised: “those who humble themselves will be exalted”. We celebrate her entry into heavenly glory.

Finally, Mary reminds us who come to this Eucharist that God “fills the hungry with good things”. We are hungry for the good things of God, especially the Eucharist. We are hungry for God’s special acts of love. May we will carry Jesus with us out from her imitate Mary who carried Jesus with her to see Elizabeth. May each of us imitate her humility and acknowledge that “the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name”.

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