Monday, August 15, 2005

Feast of the Assumption of Mary

A Reflection on the Feast of the Assumption, Contemplating the Ritzos Icon:




And Pope Benedict's Reflection from his Angelus today:

On today’s feast of the Assumption, we contemplate the mystery of the passing of Mary from this world to Paradise: we may say we celebrate her “Easter”. Just as Christ rose from the dead with his glorified body and ascended into heaven, the Blessed Virgin, fully associated with him, was taken up into heavenly glory in her whole person. Even in this, the Mother followed her Son more closely and went before all of us. By the side of Jesus, the new Adam, who is “the first fruits” of the resurrected (cfr 1 Cor 15:20-23), the Madonna, the new Eve, appears as the “first fruits and image of the Church” (preface), “a sign of sure hope” for all Christians on earthly pilgrimage (cfr Lumen gentium, 68).

The feast of the Assumption, so dear to popular tradition, is for us believers a useful occasion to meditate about the true sense and value of human existence from the perspective of eternity. Dear brothers and sisters, heaven is our final home. From there Mary encourages us with her example to welcome the will of God and not to allow ourselves to be seduced by false calls of all that is ephemeral and transient, not to give in to temptations of egoism and evil which snuff out the joy of life in the heart.