20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

First reading: Rev 11:19a, 12:1–6a,10

God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, 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 wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed One.”

Second reading: 1 Cor. 15:20–27

Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty 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 “he subjected everything under his feet.”

Gospel: Lk. 1:39–56

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said: “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.”

Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

In other words Fr. Gil Alejandria, SVD (Catholic Trade, Manila)

The Assumption of Mary is considered the oldest and most solemn feast of Mary. The Council of Trent in 451 made mention of it. Its origin was rooted in the unique role that Mary had in the history of our salvation.

A certain Fr. Rodney Kissinger, SJ, wrote, “The Assumption means that God who planned the first moment of Mary’s life with extraordinary care also planned her very last moment just as carefully. At the first moment of her life, by a special privilege of God, Mary was preserved free from the stain of sin. At the last moment of her life, by another special privilege she was preserved free from the corruption of the grave.”

Our celebration today takes note that our story of redemption would not have happened if Mary did not humbly accept the mission of giving birth to the Savior. She made a sacrifice when she said, “Yes”—she gave up her life of quiet anonymity. She embraced a life as the mother of Jesus, not sure of what it may mean or what would lie ahead. It is an indication of her complete trust and confidence in God. When she endured her seven sorrows, she displayed a complete surrender to God’s will. In her moments of grief, she found strength in her unwavering faith. 

She is truly an example for all of us. She showed us that as we go on in our journey of life, there will be a lot of uncertainties and sorrows. She showed us what faith can do, how complete surrender to God’s will can help us endure.

For this, she was rewarded with the glory of being assumed into heaven. Today we honor her crowning in heaven, which means she shares in the fullness of Christ’s glory. She shows the way for us, this woman whom “all generations shall call blessed.” She made it to the highest honor that God can bestow. It is an invitation for all of us to follow in her steps, to be inspired by her example, and to be given a chance to share in her glory.

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