Conceived without Sin and Incorruptible
Readings: 1st: Rev 11:19. 12:1-6-10; Ps: 44; 2nd:1 Cor 15:20-26; Gos: Lk 1:39-56
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Today we celebrate one of the oldest feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In his Munificentissimus Deus of November 1, 1950, Pius XII solemnly declared that: “The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” Pope Pius XII cited various Church Fathers to trace the longstanding tradition of the belief of the Assumption.
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Although the solemn definition may have been at the midpoint of the twentieth century, the belief in the Assumption of our Blessed Mother exemplifies the dynamism of revelation and the Church’s ongoing understanding of it as guided by the Holy Spirit.
Our first reading from the book of Revelation recounts the vision of the ark of the covenant in heaven and the Woman clothed with the sun. After delivering her baby, she suffered a great tribulation from which God protected her and her offspring. Right from the Patristic era, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been associated with the ark of the covenant. That is, bearing Christ the fullness of God’s new covenant.
In the second reading, Paul recalls the resurrection of Christ and its importance for all believers. Our hope lies in the fact that Christ, who himself was resurrected by the Father, will also facilitate our resurrection at his appointed time. Did he leave his mother and first disciple behind? Indeed not, for he promised: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (Jn 14:3). So, what we celebrate today is a promise fulfilled in its most excellent, honorable, and adorable fashion. Christ protected not only the soul of His mother conceived without sin but also her incorruptible body.
Therefore, today’s Gospel reminds us that the Assumption can be best understood with a good understanding of Catholic beliefs about Christ’s person and the person of Mary. Only Mary, born without the stain of original sin, could give birth to Christ, fully God and fully human. Due to her role in God’s salvation plan, she does not suffer from the effects of sin, which are death and decay. Mary is the first to receive the fullness of redemption that her son has won for all humanity. The Church, therefore, recognizes Mary as the sign of the salvation promised to all.
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Today’s Solemnity gives us great hope as we contemplate this outstanding aspect of this great woman and faith of our faith, the Blessed Virgin, and the Mother of God. She motivates us by example and prayer to grow in God’s grace, to be receptive to His will, to convert our lives through sacrifice and penance. Above all, she motivates us to seek and fix our eyes on that everlasting union in the kingdom of heaven.
Peace be with you all!