Monday, August 07, 2006


The Solemnity of the Assumption is one of the most important celebrations of the Church’s Liturgical Year. The liturgy of the Novus Ordo Mass captures the richness of the mystery at hand as expressed by the Second Vatican Council. A new Preface was also composed which truly expresses Our Lady’s role in Christ’s Mystical Body. In essence, the Solemnity of the Assumption emphasizes essentially final judgment and where we, the faithful, will spend eternity.

Saint Paul, in today's Second Reading to the Corinthians is clear. At the end of time, Our Lord: "After having destroyed every sovereignty, authority, and power, will hand the kingdom to God the Father." Only then will His work of the redemption come to its full completion. Our Lord will have won complete victory over sin, Satan, and death. The Kingdom that Our Divine Savior will hand over to the Father will be the eternal abode of those who have died in the peace of Christ. The damned, those who, in effect, has rejected His holy Gospel, will be with Satan in hell and will suffer eternal punishment. There are no alternatives. Thus, the Church today puts before us the example of Our Blessed Mother as the Image of the Church and the perfect pattern of what all of us should and must become.

The mystery is perfectly captured in the preface of the Mass of the Assumption: “Today the Virgin Mother of God was taken up into heaven to be: “The beginning and the pattern of the Church in its perfection, and as a sure sign of hope and comfort for your people on their pilgrim way.” With these words, the Church comforts us with the reminder that we are a redeemed people, desired for eternal life in the Beatific Vision of the Blessed Trinity. In heaven, we shall have a joy that “eye has not seen or ear heard what God has prepared for those who love Him.” Moreover, we read in the orations (prayers) of the Mass of the Assumption: The Opening Prayer: “May we see heaven as our final goal and come to share her glory!” The Offertory Prayer: “You raised her up to heaven. By her prayers, help us to seek you and live in your love.” The Closing Prayer: “May we who receive this Sacrament of Salvation be led to the glory of heaven by the prayers of the Virgin Mary.”

The Church on earth offers praise to Mary as “the highest honor of our race.” The Preface teaches us: “You would not let decay touch her body for she has given birth to your Son, the Lord of all life, in the glory of the Incarnation.” As the Second Vatican Council teaches, Our Blessed Mother is our Mother and our Model. We must not only love her as our heavenly mother but we must also imitate her as the pattern and the model of all of the virtues. During her earthly life she practiced perfect charity, obedience, purity, patience, indeed, all of the virtues to their highest degree. On Calvary, at the foot of the Cross, she gave birth to us in the order of grace. In heaven, she is our Advocate with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Good mother that she is, Our Blessed Mother ceaselessly pleads our cause, as she waits for the day when all of us are safely home in heaven.

Let us join the Universal Church, both here on earth and in the Kingdom of Heaven, in praise of Our Lady. She is the highest honor of our race. She is the “apple of the eye of the Father, the Mother of the Son and the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Mary, the Mother of God and Our Blessed Mother, “is the beginning and pattern of the Church in its perfection.” Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.


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