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Home » Articles, Daily Gospel

Assumpta est Maria

Submitted by on Saturday, 15 August 20093 Comments

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The Assumption in the Catechism

966 “Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.” The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:

In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.

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2853 Victory over the “prince of this world” was won once for all at the Hour when Jesus freely gave himself up to death to give us his life. This is the judgment of this world, and the prince of this world is “cast out.” “He pursued the woman” but had no hold on her: the new Eve, “full of grace” of the Holy Spirit, is preserved from sin and the corruption of death (the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God, Mary, ever virgin). “Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring.” Therefore the Spirit and the Church pray: “Come, Lord Jesus,” since his coming will deliver us from the Evil One.

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Some Thoughts on the Readings

Revelation 11:19; 12:1-10. The reading from Revelation 11 about the ark of the covenant which in another instant is presented as the Woman clothed with the Sun is a series of overlapping images that point to

  1. the ark of the covenant which Mary is as described in Luke’s account of the Visitation
  2. Mary, the Queen Mother and the Woman and Her Seed of Genesis 3:15
  3. the Woman and Her Seed with the Church and her children with this latter portrayed as one child
  4. the Church and the New Israel whom God will woo in the desert (see Hosea 2)

These overlapping images of Mary and the Church attacked without success by the Dragon is presented by the liturgy on the feast of the Assumption to highlight the place of Mary as the blueprint of the Church. She has gone ahead of the Church and is seated at the side of the King of Kings as an assurance that where she is, there the Church shall be also. The responsorial psalm taken from Psalm 45 is about a Queen of Israel and her place beside the king. If Christ is King of Kings, then Mary is the Queen Mother.

1 Corinthians 15:20-27. The text from 1 Corinthians 15 is part of a response to the question of the Corinthians about those who have died before and whom they fear would be excluded from the coming of the Lord. Paul informs the Corinthians that the order of the resurrection is Christ (the first fruits), then those belonging to Him. And when those belonging to Him has been raised from the dead, then the destruction of death and the restoration of all to God.

Victory over Satan is illustrated in the first reading. Here, Christ’s victory over Death is emphasized. And both are exemplified in the Assumption of Mary who did not taste death because of her preservation from sin.

Luke 1:39-56. The reading from Luke is taken from Mary’s recital of the saving deeds of God. The Magnificat is the Church’s song of victory, anticipated in Mary who witnessed the dawning of God’s saving deed in the Word taking flesh in her. The peace she brings to Elizabeth is the peace that only the Lord can give reaching even the unborn child in Elizabeth’s womb. “Henceforth, all generations will call me blessed”, sings Mary. She is the new ark of the Covenant, overshadowed in the Visitation by the Shekinah glory, bearing in her womb the Word of salvation. She is the image of the missionary Church bearing the good news to those who wait for it. And where she is now, the Church will also be.


Inside Stuff: The Assumption of Our Lady (How the Dogma was Defined)

Revelation 11:19; 12:1-10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1119And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple, and there were lightnings, and voices, and an earthquake, and great hail.
121And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars:
2And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.
3And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems:
4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.
5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne.
6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred sixty days.
7And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels:
8And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
10And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night.
Genesis 3:15
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
15I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.
1 Corinthians 15:20-27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
20But now Christ is risen from the dead, the firstfruits of them that sleep:
21For by a man came death, and by a man the resurrection of the dead.
22And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.
23But every one in his own order: the firstfruits Christ, then they that are of Christ, who have believed in his coming.
24Afterwards the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God and the Father, when he shall have brought to nought all principality, and power, and virtue.
25For he must reign, until he hath put all his enemies under his feet.
26And the enemy death shall be destroyed last: For he hath put all things under his feet. And whereas he saith,
27All things are put under him; undoubtedly, he is excepted, who put all things under him.
Luke 1:39-56
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
39And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.
40And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.
41And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
45And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.
46And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.
47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.
50And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
51He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
52He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.
53He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:
55As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
56And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house.

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