Monday, August 15, 2016


The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary is a feast that traces its origin to the earliest ages of the Church. Tied to this feast are themes of Mary as Mother of the Church and model for the Church. In her the Church witnesses the fullness of the effects of the saving death and resurrection of Christ for humanity. The Preface for the feast’s Eucharistic Liturgy attests to this. 

Today the Virgin Mother of God was taken up into heaven to be the beginning and the pattern of the Church in its perfection, and a sign of hope and comfort for your people on their pilgrim way. The themes of the Mass prayers and readings, and those of the Liturgy of the Hours, reflect the basis of the Church’s teaching about Mary and the many titles accorded her in popular Christian devotion. 

The feast of Mary’s Assumption honors her Dormition, as the feast is called in the East, her falling asleep in the Lord and being taken body and soul to heaven when her earthly life was completed. Mary’s Assumption is analogous to Jesus’ Ascension. The similarity between the privileges of Christ and those of his Mother is in no way identity. Christ has his prerogatives by his very nature as God Incarnate. Mary receives hers by a free gift from God. “He who is mighty has done great things for me.” 

We understand that Mary is a creature only, dependent on Christ for everything. She is a woman and a mother, and her grace is adapted to her own nature and to her own special function. Christ exists for God. Mary exists for Christ. God made Christ our unique Redeemer. Mary exercises her role as Cordemptrix only through union with Christ, and she herself had to be redeemed by him. Christ is our necessary advocate with the Father. Mary is our advocate with Christ and through Christ. So it is with all the privileges of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Bro. John M. Samaha, S.M.