Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
This Wednesday, August 15th, is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother. We will have ONE MASS OF CELEBRATION at 6:00 P.M. After Mass we will have our Special Super Sunbird Summer Supper.

I sure hope you signed up. This get-together is a way to thank you all for the wonderful celebration we had on my 50th anniversary. One good party deserves another, and what better time than on a feast which gathers us, the Assumption of Mary.

What is the Assumption all about, anyway? The tradition of the feast goes back before the sixth century. However, it was only in 1950 that Pius XII formaly declared the dogma (or teaching) as an integral part of our Catholic belief. It was something people already believed.

I highly recommend a Franciscan Media online article titled the “Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” The end of the first part takes you to an article by Catholic writer Edward Sri. Again, the whole article is worth your time. I thought the following two paragraphs focused on a core insight, namely that Mary doesn’t make sense without Jesus, and we don’t make sense without Mary. Listen to Sri:

“Since one of the blessings promised to all faithful disciples is victory over death, it is fitting that Mary, who is the first and model disciple of Christ, would be the first to receive this blessing. Catholics thus believe that the privilege of resurrection promised to all faithful Christians was given first to Mary and in a totally unique way.

“While the rest of us hope to have our bodies raised to glory at the end of time, Mary experienced the resurrection and glorification of her body at the moment her earthly life ended. Thus, her assumption — which flows from her unique participation in Christ’s victory as the mother of the Savior and as the first followers — anticipates to some degree our own share in the fullness of that victory if we persevere as followers of Christ.”

In his book, The Thousand Faces of the Virgin Mary, Fr. George Tavard said, "In the theology of Pope Pius XII, the Assumption of Mary's body and soul into heaven flow from her Immaculate Conception. The end balances the beginning, both having their profound reason in Mary's mission as the Theotokos...”

The “Theotokos” is the God-bearer, the one who was the God/man. All the things we say about Mary reflect our understanding of how special a place her body was for bringing to birth the one who was truly God, and truly Man.

Before your eyes cross or you get a headache trying to figure it all out, just think of it this way:

The Assumption is a celebration of promise, the promise of eternal life, the promise Mary received. Mary’s ‘Yes’ defined her discipleship. She became not only our model, but our mother. As we sit “at our mother’s feet” we learn how to say, ‘Yes’ like good kids. At least I hope we are learning.

Just one more side-thought: Pius XII was greatly impacted by the Second World War. He saw and experienced all the hate and division that warfare brought. He was looking for ways to help humanity rediscover the things that united, not divided. He saw it in the example of the discipleship of Mary, the same discipleship to which we are called. The Assumption definition was not about Mary nearly so much as it was about finding a way to heal cracks and rifts throughout humanity. He wanted humanity to rediscover its wholeness in its common eternal destiny. Mary led the way.

In her Son,
sign frjim

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MASS SCHEDULE
Saturday 5 pm
(Sunday Vigil)
Sunday 8:30 & 11 am
Weekdays 8:00 am
(Mon. through Fri.)
Holy Days
(Schedule varies)

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