Saturday, August 15, 2015

Does your devotion to the Virgin Mary consist of prayers only or does it involve imitation of her life and faith? - Daily Reflections August 15,2015

I once asked a theology class to explain the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary. A naughty seminarian replied, “That’s the teaching whereby the Catholic Church ‘assumes’ that Mary is in heaven.”
       There is, of course, more to the dogma of the Assumption than that. The Church does not just “assume” that Mary is in heaven. Rather, She declares with authority that the Mother of Jesus is in heaven and should therefore be honored in liturgy and imitated in life.
       Some have a problem with this dogma because we do not have any biblical basis for Mary’s assumption. Even the time and place of the assumption is not clear. Mary is mentioned in the Bible for the last time in the Acts of the Apostles, when she prayed after Jesus’ ascension together with the Apostles in preparation for the Pentecost. The rest of her life is shrouded in mystery, legend and traditions.
       Whenever I visit Ephesus in Turkey during pilgrimages, we would go to the House of Mary where, according to another tradition, Mary spent the last years of her life. There is no eyewitness account of this actual event, but then again, no one witnessed the actual resurrection of Jesus either.
    There are no relics of Mary, as with other saints. But credible apparitions of Mary, though not recorded in the New Testament, have been recorded from the third century until today.
       What has Mary’s assumption and her feast today to do with us who live in very difficult times? A Marian scholar once wrote that anything that happen to Mary concerns the Church, of which she is a member. He called her a “mirror of the Church.” In other words, what the Lord did for Mary, He does for the Church, for all of us. Today’s feast makes us aware that death is not the end, that after death glory awaits us. The road Mary traveled is the same road that the Church travels — the road that we also travel. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
REFLECTION QUESTION: Does your devotion to the Virgin Mary consist of prayers only or does it involve imitation of her life and faith?
Lord, once more I thank You for giving us Your Mother as a model to imitate and follow. Help me to be inspired by her and be brought closer to You.

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