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Homily for the Solemnity of the Assumption, Year C, 2022

Today we are celebrating the Assumption of Mary into heaven. Yesterday, in our second reading from the letter to the Hebrews, we heard our lives being compared to a race. We heard the following:

Let us not lose sight of Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection: for the sake of the joy which was still in the future, he endured the cross, disregarding the shamefulness of it, and from now on has taken his place at the right of God’s throne.

Our Lady did this. She never lost sight of God, her Son. The Assumption is what this looks like for the rest of us. God is so generous, so desirous that we should remain faithful, that we should not lose hope throughout our races, that not only are we given the Ascension, we also given the Assumption. There is absolutely no space now to doubt what our future is if we listen to the word of God and remain faithful. We see it first of all in Christ; and now we see it in our Lady, too.

In Mary, we see the true reality of all creation. Unlike Adam and Eve who disobediently try to take what is not yet offered, our Lady at the Annunciation, and throughout her life, waited on God’s word. And when she received God’s Word, she said yes with her whole self, even when it meant great suffering, even when it meant a sword would pierce her own heart at the foot of the Cross. She realised her true freedom in becoming absolutely obedient to God’s Word. Through grace, she made a complete and pure gift of herself, which her Son would accept and reveal as his own life.

And in saying yes, in being obedient to the higher things, by keeping her gaze so firmly fixed on the heavens that she is crowned with stars, she further fulfilled creation’s great destiny by becoming the Ark of the Covenant, the Temple of God, the Body of Christ, the very Mother of God. She is brought into such a close relationship with God that God will take her flesh as God’s own. She will be so united to God that all the hosts of heaven will call her queen, will bow to her as God’s mother.

She is the revelation that when obedient to Christ, creation changes from the chaotic waters of the opening chapters of Genesis to the mirror-like reality we find in the Book of revelation. Creation’s destiny is to reflect God’s glory. Our Lady has done this, and continues to do this.

And because she reflects God’s glory, she reflects God’s love and mercy as our mother, always ready to intercede for us. How many times has she been asked for help? How much more will we praise her when we realise her forgiveness of our treatment of her Son? What will we see of her role in creation when all is revealed at the end of time?

And so, let us rejoice today that one like us is already with Christ our brother in heaven. She is the Queen of Hope, who points a thirsty world to the source of living water.


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