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What to Know About Mary’s Assumption on August 15th

By Bishop Gregory Parkes

What To Know About Mary’s Assumption On August 15th

“For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.”  – Luke 1:44

On August 15th, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We believe that when Mary’s earthly journey was complete, she was taken up body and soul into Heaven where she is Queen of Heaven and earth. This teaching is based on the reality that Mary was conceived without original sin, and therefore, was spared the corruption of sin and death. She was given the special honor of participating in the Resurrection of her Son, Jesus Christ. And through her participation in this resurrection and by her prayers, she assists us who do suffer from the effects of original sin, to be with her and her Son in the joy of Heaven.

Our Gospel reading on August 15th from St. Luke is the account of the Visitation when Mary, having already conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, traveled to the hill country to the town of Judah to visit Elizabeth, who was also with child. The encounter between them is a moment of joy! In fact, in the Gospel Elizabeth says, “For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” And just as the presence of Our Lord at that moment was a cause for joy, so is each time we draw near to Jesus Christ, particularly when we receive His Body and Blood in the Eucharist.

Our prayer on this solemnity is that where Mary has gone, we also hope to be one day. And being our Mother and the Mother of God, she desires nothing more than us drawing close to her Son, Jesus Christ, and that we may be with Him for all eternity. Do we have the courage, like Mary, to follow Jesus in our lives through the good times as well as times of difficulty and adversity? And do we have the courage, like Mary, to bring the presence and joy of Jesus Christ to all those we encounter? 

- Bishop Gregory Parkes