As human beings, we are able to think about the future and make plans, we can remember past events, and we even have the ability to be creative and be problem solvers. But more importantly, we are created in God’s image; and because we are made in His own image, we possess the understanding of spirituality; and that God has a plan for each of us, even before we are born. That being said, I need to point out that even though God has a plan for each of us, He does not choose who gets an illness, and who does not; but rather there is a mission given to each of us. We often do not understand what it is, but we all have one.
And so as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption, we need to understand that Mary too had received a mission even before she was conceived. She had not understood that mission until later. God was already thinking of her, and as some believe, was conceived without original sin, which is one of the reasons it was so fitting for God to assume her directly into heaven when her earthly mission was finished, as we celebrate today. She is part of the plan for our salvation. Just as the death on the cross is an act of love for us, Mary has a special place in the ongoing history of salvation, because he wants to tell us something about his love for us. Like the love that our birth mother provides us, God’s love is gentle, patient, and always watching over us.
A lot of people get caught up in the image of a woman which is described in Revelation and with whom we associate with Mary; the twelve stars and all of that stuff. Yet more importantly, another thing which is special about Mary is her faith and devotion through prayer. This is evident within the Gospel reading, as we read about Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. When Mary hears Elizabeth tells Mary that there is somebody special within her womb, she praises God in prayer; a prayer which we recite during Evening Prayer every evening:
“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.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
In this prayer, she has a conversation with God, which this great faith, along with accepting God’s will for us, is one of the reasons Mary was rewarded the Assumption. She teaches us that we need to also have a prayerful life in order to understand and accept our mission which God has called us to fulfill. It is not easy to pray always, especially when we do not know how to pray or are facing trials which seem overwhelming. But she is a model in which we need to follow in order to build a good relationship with God. The question is whether we are going to follow her example or not.
Lord, may we look to Mary as a model and example of how to trust God through our faith, and build our relationship with you with prayer. We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.