Monday, 15 August 2016 : Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White (Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, honouring that moment when Mary, the mother of God, was bodily assumed or brought up directly to the presence of God in heaven, in glorious reward for the faith that she had exhibited and professed her whole life, and for her special role as the Bearer of the Saviour of the world.

Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, as she bore within her the New Covenant in Jesus Christ that He has established anew with us. And so sacred is the Holy Ark that is Mary, exemplary in her faith and commitment to God, that God would not want her to suffer the pain of death, which is the consequence for sin. For she was conceived and prepared into the world without sin, and then throughout her life, she had obeyed and followed the Lord in all of His plans for the world and for all mankind, and thus, she deserved that glory which her Son had prepared for her.

And through her, all of us can see the premonition and the preview for our own fate, that is our salvation and the eternal life we can find only in the Lord alone. Mary showed unto us how all of us ought to believe in the Lord, not just in externals and appearances alone, but also deep in the heart and through concrete actions and devotions, by the outpouring of our love and our care for those who are less fortunate and those who are unloved around us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is what Jesus meant when He told the young man in the Gospel today, of what he needed to do in order to fully follow the Lord in all of His ways. The young man had fulfilled and followed the whole laws of Moses, obeyed the commandments that God had given His people, but yet, he still had that question burning inside of him, as he felt that he still lacked something in him.

And that is because he was still not truly having the Lord inside of him. He has done all the laws and obeyed all the commandments, but do you know that it is possible for one to obey the laws and commandments of God and yet have no God in them? Of course the young man did not do so badly as that. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had done exactly that.

These people obeyed the Law and appeared to follow the commandments of God, appearing pious and devout while at the same time having no love for God in their hearts. It is indeed possible for this to happen, as doing them as a routine and doing them genuinely with true love and devotion for God are two sides of the same coin. The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law did theirs as a routine, and also as a means to garner favour and popularity with the people instead of for the Lord as the Law had intended.

And thus, this is where we should look up to Mary as our example. She placed her full trust in the Lord, even when she knew that the path forward for her would not be an easy one. She let the Lord to bring her to where He wanted her to be. And as the mother of Jesus Christ, our Lord, she devoted herself entirely to Him, giving Him the love that all mothers ought to give their children and even more.

Imagine the pain and sorrow she must have faced while following her Son through all the challenges and the difficulties He faced, and more than all these, was when He walked through the way of the Passion, carrying and bearing His cross through Jerusalem and up the hill to Calvary, where He was crucified, suffered and died for the sake of all.

Yet, through all these, Mary remained faithful and stayed truly faithful to the mission which God had entrusted her. And thus, she became our guiding light, the beacon to lead us to her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Through her we can find the best way that leads directly to God and to His salvation. As she was free from the abominable effects of sin, thus it was befitting for her to also escape the sting of sin, that is death.

Yes, we mankind have sinned before God, some small while others had bigger sins. But nevertheless, all of us have disobeyed God and refused to walk in His ways, resulting in sin that leads eventually to death. Yet, our Lord Himself by His glorious resurrection from the dead had shown us that there is a way out of death, that is if we are all faithful to God, and this is affirmed further by the example of Mary, who was brought into the heavenly glory, free from sin.

By sharing in the death of our Lord Jesus Christ through baptism, all of us have been freed from the taint of our original sins. And if we are to believe in Him with all of our heart and devote ourselves completely to Him, then we too shall share the joy of Mary, the joy of the Assumption, as the Lord Himself has promised that all of His faithful ones will not suffer eternal death, but instead receive the eternal life and glory promised to all of the holy people of God, to be forever with Him in heaven.

May the Lord help us, through the guidance and the intercession of His blessed mother Mary, the role model that He had set up for us, so that through her we may be better able to find our way to Him, and thus receive the eternal life and inheritance He has allotted for us all. May God bless us all, and let us all ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, assumed in glory to heaven, to pray for us all at all times. Amen.

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