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Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Aug. 15, 2010 (AssumptionC)
By Father Cusick
In his love for mankind, the Lord has exalted him above all creatures by creating him in his image and likeness, but more so by raising him up in Christ to share divine life forever. Among all human creatures, it is our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom "all generations will call blessed" (St. Luke).
Mary has been given the highest place among all of creation, and it is she, a woman, who ranks highest in the most important hierarchy: the hierarchy of holiness. The gift of God in her glorious Assumption into heaven is the fulfillment of his grace in her. She goes before us to intercede with her Son that we may join her in praising Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit forever in heaven."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." (Lumen gentium 59; cf. Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus (1950): DS 3903; cf. Rev 19:16.) 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. (Byzantine Liturgy, Troparion, Feast of the Dormition, August 15th.)
By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity. Thus she is a preeminent and …wholly unique member of the Church"; indeed, she is the "exemplary realization" (typus) (Lumen gentium 53; 63.) of the Church. (CCC 967)
Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. "In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace." (Lumen gentium 61.) (CCC 968)
Looking forward to meeting here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick