Wednesday, 15 August 2012 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Solemnity Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:39-56.
Assumption of Mary, 2012 Community Mass Homily
feast of the Assumption of Mary into heaven may seem to some like putting her
on a pedestal which we look at from afar. - We admire her position and then forget
about it for another year. If we did think
along those lines we would be missing out from an awareness of what our
Christian life is all about.
life stories of the saints, and of our Lord himself, show us what we can
become. They are a mirror in which – if
we look at them long enough – will transform us into what we see there.
recent days and weeks we have seen the happy enthusiasm that has emanated from
the London Olympic Games. Everyone who
has kept in touch with what has been going on there has been caught up in this
infectious spirit. Athletes have
excelled in their achievements. Some
have won an Olympic medal for the first time or have set personal bests. Most of those who did not win but came in
second or third acted as if they had actually won. Their silver or bronze medal was ‘gold’ for
them. The achievements of their
teammates had encouraged them to perform better themselves. The huge crowd of onlookers also spurred them
on to higher levels of performance.
Together, individual sports men and women, their fellow competitors and
the watching crowds, all made for a wonderful winning experience. The ones cheering and those being cheered on,
were all different parts of the same experience.
into the lives of the saints is not all that much different from the dynamics
seen at work at these Games. The Olympic
scene showed us the immense physical efforts, the speed and concentration
required for excellence. St Paul in one
of his letters to the early Churches writes about striving to win the
race. He urges us on by telling us that it
is only the person who comes first wins the crown. So, he said, we must strive to win.
the spiritual life is not logical in these matters. There is always the need for sustained and
real effort to win. But all of us have
different gifts and different levels of excellence. It may be that the nearest we get to a medal
is a personal best. In the Olympic Games
one person who gets the gold medal, but we all strike gold if we prepare and
perform as well as we possibly can.
There is only one colour of medal in the spiritual life if we run in it
as best we can. The saints show us
this. They competed in the race where their
better selves ran against their less-than-desirable selves, using all their
abilities and working with the handicaps they had.
glorious anthem and the golden light of the resurrection shone for Christ at
the end of his race when he rose from the dead.
When we put on the new man that is Christ, we take part in his race of
life in our own particular way. And our
Lady followed him closely, so closely that she has joined him, standing by his
side with her own winner’s medal. In
Christ we are all runners and, so long as we keep running, all winners.
the talk after the London Olympics has been about leaving a legacy to encourage
the young, and perhaps the not-so-young, to take up sport and to excel in it. That is what the Church has long been recommending
that we do as regards our faith and life in Christ. We learn to put on Christ, to achieve as he
did, by watching how other holy men and women themselves learnt from his
example throughout the ages.
we look at the lives of the saints generally we see the energy and attention
they exercised in their following of Christ.
But in the Assumption of Mary, which we are celebrating today, we
rejoice that she has, after her own efforts and discipline, arrived. She has been taken up to heaven where her Son
has himself already ascended to. They
have both received their gold medals. The Feast of the Assumption is Mary’s
one achieves anything of lasting value by themselves. We can do it only by living in and through
the energy and strength of our Lord’s own resurrection. It is the power and
adrenaline of his Holy Spirit who fuels our muscles and pumps his blood through
our veins that make our success possible.
We all go to heaven together on this track of life. And together we will find Mary standing by her
Son waiting to present us with our own winners’ medals.