The Assumption of Mary

08-08-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

After Mass last Sunday I had dinner with my mother. We met at my sister Natalie’s home and had a great time. It was a quiet gathering for us, my brother-in-law Phil was the only other person there. But it was great to enjoy the time and meal with them.

Next Sunday, August 15th, is the Solemnity of the Assumption. It is one of those few times a year when an important Holy Day of Obligation falls on a Sunday. The good part is that we will celebrate this Feast of our Blessed Mother at all the regularly scheduled Masses that Sunday.

The Assumption celebrates the Truth that, when her life on earth was complete, our Blessed Mother, Mary, was taken, body and soul, to be with Jesus in Heaven. It is important to note that, unlike Jesus, Mary did not ‘ascend’ to Heaven. She was ‘assumed’, and there is a big difference.

To ‘ascend’ means to go up to Heaven on your own power – something Jesus could do because He is God. But, being human, our Blessed Mother had to be ‘assumed’ – or taken up to Heaven by the power of God. Either way, it is a glorious and awesome thing to consider!

Celebrating our Blessed Mother’s Assumption should remind us that Heaven is our final goal. Because of our sinfulness – we will not be taken ‘body and soul’ to Heaven at the moment of our death. But the Good News is that the Son of Mary – Jesus Christ – came to earth to save us from our sins so that we can indeed go to Heaven one day. By following Him faithfully and seeking His forgiveness for our sins, we can follow where He and His holy Mother have gone!

Finally, it is good to remember that, although death for us will involve the separation of body and soul, we also believe in ‘the Resurrection of the Body.’ The Church has always taught that on Judgment Day, the souls of the just will be reunited with their bodies for eternity. Celebrating Mary’s Assumption, body and soul to Heaven, should cause us to reflect on the glorious destiny that God has for His faithful people!

Those who want to read more about the Assumption can go to the site on the parish website. They always have great little videos or talks about these marvelous truths of our faith.

Remember that we will have a Communion Breakfast on Sunday, September 19th. We will celebrate the Birthday of our Blessed Mother, which also falls in September. Details can be found elsewhere in this bulletin. It will be nice to celebrate with many of you.

Finally, God willing, I am going to leave for vacation before dawn Monday morning. I’m hoping to make a road trip out to western Nebraska and Wyoming to watch trains as I’ve done in the past. For various reasons, I did not take this trip for the past two summers, and am looking forward to being able to do so. I am already also looking forward to getting back home to all of you the weekend of August 21–22!

In the meantime, please say that Hail Mary for me each day, and know that I will be praying for you during the quiet time on my trip. Let’s also pray for the sick and for peace.

Have a great week!

Fr. John