REVELATION 11: 19a; 12: 1 – 6a, 10ab
God’s temple in heaven was opened. And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another sign appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tails wept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come.”
The Word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 45: 10, 11, 12, 16 (R.) 10b
R/. On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
The daughters of kings are those whom you favour.
On your tight stands the queen in gold of Ophir. R/.
Listen, O daughter; pay heed and give ear;
forget your own people and your father’s house. R/.
So will the king desire your beauty.
He is your lord, pay homage to him. R/.
They are escorted amid gladness and joy;
they pass within the palace of the king. R/.
Christ the first fruits, then those who belong to Christ.
1ST CORINTHIANS 15: 20 – 27
Brethren: Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For a sin Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. “For God has put all things in subjection under his feet.”
The Word of the Lord.
Mary has been taken up into heaven; the host of angels rejoices.
He who is mighty has done great things for me, he has exalted those of low degree.
LUKE 1: 39 – 56
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever.” And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.
The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: The Assumption of the Mother of God
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name.” (Luke 1:46–49)
Today we celebrate one of seventeen different memorials, feasts and solemnities in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary that are found on the Roman Liturgical Calendar. Today’s celebration is one of the four great Solemnities by which our Blessed Mother is honored. Obviously, no other person other than our Lord is honored and celebrated with as much solemnity as the Mother of God.
The Solemnity of the Assumption honors the fact that when the Blessed Virgin Mary completed her life on earth, she was taken body and soul into Heaven to be with her resurrected Son so as to adore the Most Holy Trinity forever. It’s an amazing fact to consider that she retains her body and soul, united as one in Heaven, in anticipation of that glorious day when the new Heavens and Earth will be created and when all the faithful will rise so as to live in a new bodily form forever with God.
Though this dogma of our faith had been held and believed by the faithful from the earliest times of our Church, especially since it was witnessed by those closest to our Blessed Mother at the time of her glorious Assumption, it wasn’t until November 1, 1950, that Pope Pius XII solemnly proclaimed it to be so, raising this teaching of our faith to the level of a dogma, meaning, it must be held and believed by all. In part, the Holy Father declared, “…we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: 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.”
The Gospel passage quoted above comes from the beginning of Mary’s song of praise, her Magnificat, by which she not only gives the greatest glory to God but also reveals who she is. She is the one whom “all generations” will call “blessed.” She is the one for whom “the Almighty has done great things.” She is the one who will eternally proclaim “the greatness of the Lord” and whose spirit will forever rejoice in God her Savior. And she is that lowliest of servants whom God has raised up to the greatest glory.
Reflect, today, with the whole Church, upon the Most Glorious Ever-Virgin Mary who was conceived without sin, remained sinless throughout her life, and was taken body and soul into Heaven where she now adores the Most Holy Trinity and intercedes for you and for the whole Church. This is a Solemnity of great rejoicing! Share in this joy with the whole Church and with all the saints in Heaven!
Most glorious and Ever-Virgin Mary, I rejoice today with you and with the whole Church for the most glorious things that God has done for you. You are beauty beyond beauty, Immaculate in every way, and worthy of our deepest love. As you now share body and soul in the glories of Heaven, please pray for me and for all your dear children on earth. Cover us with your mantle of love and pour forth the mercy of God upon us always. Mother Mary, assumed into Heaven, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Jesus, I trust in You.