The Assumption of our Lady into Heaven
by Fr. Peter deSousa
I love to be free. I do not like to be controlled or forced to do something unless I freely accept it as God's will for me. God has set me free from the law and poured the Spirit into my heart, so that he may guide and lead me to give myself fully in love, to God and to others. It is the Holy Spirit who sets me free, so that I may live as God's child everyday and continue the mission of Jesus. So the spirit of the law is more important than the letter of the law, to the disciple of Jesus
Mary was the first and greatest disciple of Jesus. She was chosen by God to be the only human parent of Jesus. But God respected Mary's freedom to accept this mission. When Mary said Yes to God, she conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. She lived that Yes everyday, in many challenging situations.
It was not for her to know why God asked her to become pregnant without first telling Joseph about it. It was not necessary for her to know why God's son would be born in a cattle shed. It was not necessary for God to consult her, as to why Jesus would spend 30 years of his life, in the despised village of Nazareth, before he assumed his public ministry. It was not required that God consult her about the Passion and Death of her son upon the cross. Mary was the obedient servant of God, set free by the Spirit and led by the Spirit to give herself freely in love to God in all that he asked of her as her life unfolded, day by day.
When Mary's life in this world ended, her body did not decay. The sinless bride of the Spirit and mother of the Redeemer did not need to await Resurrection from the dead. Her transition from a life of grace to a life of glory is what we understand by the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven.
I, as Mary's son, have also been set free by the precious blood of her son Jesus on the cross and by the Spirit poured into my heart. But I am also a sinner who many a time, does not listen to the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit. Mary my Mother is praying for me to do so. I pray to her then: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death."
I pray that I may be ready to listen to the Holy Spirit and obey God's will for me at all times, even when it does not make sense to me. Mary's whole life was filled with situations that did not make sense to her. I can certainly clarify and seek counsel. In Religious life, dialogue with one's superiors is part of my vow of Obedience, so that I may obey, not blindly but wholeheartedly. I am called to acquaint my Superior with facts he may not know about, so that he may lead me to obey freely and whole heartedly. Obedience is an occasion to die to myself and to my independence in choosing which path I will take. Each death to self is an openness to resurrection.
I ask Mary to be by my side when I die so that I may choose Jesus rather than myself. May she lead me home to see God face to face. Amen.
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