Monday, August 15

Lessons from the Saints - Assumption of the BVM

This Sunday we celebrated the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (which is, technically, today).

Generally, our parishioners are not great Marians, but are those who feel specific devotion to the B.V.M. and the Assumption (along with the other 21 major feasts dedicated to the B.V.M.) allows for the expression of their faith towards the Christotokos.

The homily on Sunday was of specific interest because it didn't focus on the Assumption itself (which is non-canonical and springs from the 4th century despite being an 'infallible' part of the Deposit of Faith) but rather upon the larger topic of disassociation.  In a nutshell, none of us can be like the Blessed Virgin (or Christ or saint so-and-so) because they are way up there in the celestial clouds, so holy and special, and we're just Joe-pew-warmer who are unworthy and lowly *beats breast as appropriate*.  Bah and also humbug.

What makes the story of Mary (and almost all of the other saints) of great value is that they are us, with faults, flaws, bad days, broken hearts and all the other things which come with being human.  What sets them apart from you and me is that others took notice when God spoke to them and they obeyed.  Let me step through that.

God speaks to us all (though not all hear the Voice) and we have the option (free will, baby) to obey. 

Millions of us do this every day and millions of us answer that Call as our own charisms dictate. 

Those we call saints today are people whose actions were noticed by others and whose lives/deaths have been lifted up as examples for the faithful to follow.

I'll close with the gospel reading from the Vigil of the Assumption (which most folks never hear).
While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.”

He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”  (Luke 11:27-28)
Focus on the essentials here.  Listen to the Voice and follow the Calling.  That is what Mary and all of the saints did, what Christ did and what we should all do.

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