Homily – August 15, 2019 (Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
15 August 2019

Recently I came across an interesting Irish custom called “Taking the Waters”. The tradition stems from today’s feast of our Lady’s Assumption into heaven, that as she rose she wept and her tears fell into the ocean. The tradition is that on this day her tears are “reactivated” to bring health to those who bathe in the sea. While this might seem silly to some, these simple customs are reflection of a deeper faith … of the reality of the spiritual realm and our Lady’s intercession in our lives.

St. Elizabeth makes this most beautiful statement in the Gospel today – “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Mary’s faith is a simple one – much like the people of Ireland going to the sea – yet it is deep. She believed that what she was told was true, she believed that the Lord was trustworthy, she believed in the promises even though she could not see them … they were real to her. She is, indeed, an example of faith. And her faith, in that moment, is really a death – her death gives way to life. She gives over her own life to these promises, to her Lord in order that He, the Lord of all Life, may come.

In this Mary goes ahead of us. She dies once to self, she dies a second time physically – both to bring forth life. She therefore shows us how to have faith, she shows us how to give ourselves over to the promises of God … She makes the promises of God come alive and as such shows us how to die in order that we might live … this life is not just the breath of life in the physical sense, this is the life of the soul. Therefore, go to her … Go to Mary when in difficulty, when having doubts, in moments of trial … go to her so that she may whisper to us the promises of her Son.

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