Project Description

Assumption

I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary,
the Mother of Jesus. . .
her life.

What an interesting life.

From the little bit we know
about her upbringing. . .

Joachim and Anne,
her parents,
were very faithful Jews.

And they raised Mary to be the same. . .

her Jewish faith grounded her life.

But no manner of upbringing. . .
no amount of religious raisin’. . .

could have fully prepared her
for what happened
when she was a mere teenager. . .
only 12 or so years old.

She was already betrothed to Joseph. . .
when this teenage girl was visited by an angel. . .
a messenger from God.

And not just any angel. . .
but by an archangel. . .

the Archangel Gabriel.

Gabriel means “the strength of God.”

The “Strength of God” angel!!!

When people saw an angel,
the response was to fall on their faces
in wonder and fear and awe,
because angels reflect the great glory of God.

So think about being visited
by the “Strength of God” Archangel. . .

Who greets this little girl by saying,

“Hail, favored one.”

That’s how Caesar was greeted.

Can you imagine what she must have thought?

Can you imagine how she must have felt?

St. Luke does the best he can to tell us
by using a Greek word meaning
“troubled”. . .
“perplexed”. . .
“greatly agitated”. . .
“incredibly disturbed.”

Can you imagine?

Sensing her fear,
the “Strength of God” archangel
tells her:

“Don’t be afraid,
for you have found favor with God.”

I doubt if those words
comforted her much either. . .

nor did what the Archangel Gabriel
told her next!!!

“You’re going to conceive a child by the Holy Spirit”. . .

Well, that’s certainly different!!!

And you’re going to name him Jesus. . .
which means “God saves.”

And by the way,
He’s going to be the “Son of the Most High”. . .

Well, that’s really different too!!!

And the “Strength of God” Archangel tells her more:

“Your Son is going to be given the throne of King David. . .
and his Kingdom will have no end.”

Can you imagine?

Can you imagine. . .
what it was like for a 12-year-old
to experience this?

And then there were the rumors. . .
About her pregnancy. . .
the murmuring.

There was her anxiety of how Joseph would respond?

Can you imagine?

And then all of the strange things
surrounding her Son’s birth. . .

and the strange visitors. . .

and then the flight to Egypt!!!

Can you imagine all she went through?

And when she presented Jesus back to God. . .
she had no idea what that
was really going to mean. . .

and the strange response of Anna and Simeon.

And what about the great joy
it must have been for her to raise
a son like Jesus. . .

How proud she must have been!!!

What a delight to be with Him. . .

and to play with Him. . .
and to teach Him. . .
and to pray with Him!!!

Can you imagine?

But she also picked up. . .
like only a mother can. . .
that there was something really different about Him. . .

In many ways,
He just wasn’t like the rest of
the young Jewish boys
running around Nazareth.

When he was 12. . .
at the Passover celebration,
He stayed behind in Jerusalem. . .

They found Him among the scholars of Judaism.

The strange start to his life. . .
And now this. . .
Mary pondered all of this in her heart.

And when He was 30,
He left home. . .
Unmarried. . .
And started a strange ministry!!!

He gathered disciples around Him
and started traveling around preaching. . .

Preaching some really strange things. . .

Preaching things like
“the Kingdom of God is at hand”. . .
through Him. . .

And He forgave sins. . .

And He performed miracles. . .

And He started acting like He was the Messiah.

There’s one point in the Gospels
where His family comes to seize Him
because they think He’s crazy??!?!?

Can you imagine what was going through Mary’s mind. . .
What she was feeling about the
strange path that her Son had taken.

But she was his mother. . .

She knew Him like only a mother can know a Son. . .

She knew His goodness. . .

She believed in Him!!!

Then there was the sorrow. . .
the grief. . .
the pain. . .

As she witnessed her Son’s arrest. . .
and him being mocked. . .
and tortured. . .
and crucified. . .
and deserted.

Can you imagine?

But then all of that grief and sorrow and pain
turned into joy when she saw her Son
raised from the dead in a glorified body.

Can you imagine?

And can you imagine
how she felt when Jesus
ascended into heaven?

How perplexed. . .

and then loneliness?

Just imagine all the ups and downs
of her life as the mother of Jesus.

As I reflect on her life. . .
a constant theme permeates her life.

It’s her trust. . .
Her trust in God. . .
Her trust in Jesus!!!

Even though she couldn’t have
understood all that was going on with her and Her Son. . .
she trusted. . .

she trusted.

Now imagine this!!!

Her story. . .
to a certain degree. . .
is meant to be our story too!!!

It’s all part of our grand story.

She’s our proto-type. . .
Our model.

Just like her. . .
we are chosen too. . .
to play a role in god’s grand story of salvation. . .

of new creation!!!

And we are called to Trust God. . .
Trust Jesus too. . .

even though we don’t understand all
the ups and down of life. . .

Sometimes we don’t see God’s grand plan. . .
But we trust. . .
we trust.

We too are Temples of the Holy Spirit. . .
Full of grace. . .
God-bearers
who participate in the coming of
the Kingdom of God.
And we too are to stay close to Jesus. . .
in prayer. . .
in the Word. . .
in the Eucharist.

Her story is ours.

And Her destiny is our destiny!!!

To be part of the new Creation. . .

It is so fitting that she was Assumed into heaven. . .
with how she trusted and cooperated with
grace so completely

Her body not decaying. . .

Her body with her Son’s in heaven. . .

Whole. . .

Whole.

That’s our destiny too. . .
Destiny for our bodies.

When Jesus comes again. . .

And He will come. . .

Our bodies will be united with our souls. . .

and we will be whole. . .

and transformed. . .

and with Jesus.

That’s what makes this solemnity so great!!!

We study her life. . .
We study her destiny. . .
Even what happens to Her Body. . .

Her story is our grand story!!!

Can you imagine?!?!

Can you imagine?!??

So we can say:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. . .
Blessed are you among women. . .
And blessed is the fruit of your womb. . .

Jesus.

Holy Spirit 08/14-15/2020