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Weekend Homilies
A listing of recent homilies delivered at my parish.
Una lista de homilías recientes entregadas en mi parroquia.
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  • Pub Date: Aug 15, 2021
  • 08-15-2021 - Assumption of Mary
  • Listen:
  • Reading:
    Revelations 12:1
    A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
    Many non-Catholic Christians have a very hard time understanding the mystery of this teaching of the church. I mean the teaching on the Assumption of Mary. They miss this particular line of Scripture that we have in today’s reading.
    There are a number of things that could be said in addition to quoting this line. First of all I would like to make the comment about the fact – from Scripture – that the idea of an assumption is not un-biblical. The proof of that starts with the story of Enoch in the first book of the Bible.
    In chapter 5 of Genesis we read: “the whole lifetime of Enoch was three hundred and sixty-five years. Then Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him.” This is the first known case of an assumption. The next one is with Elijah.
    You do remember the story. He was taken up in the fiery chariot of Israel while his assistant Elisha looked on. The third one is something that was in one of the daily mass readings this week. It was said that no one knows where the grave of Moses is at.
    Then, at the Transfiguration of Jesus, we see Moses and Elijah conversing with Jesus. Coincidence? Personally, I do not think so. I believe Enoch, Elijah, and Moses were all taken physically, by an assumption of their bodies, into heaven. We know Enoch and Elijah for sure, and I am guessing about Moses, mainly because of the Transfiguration.
    So let us take these five different Scripture references to give us a scriptural reason for backing up the idea of the Assumption of Mary. First, Enoch; second, Elijah; third, no grave for Moses; fourth, the Transfiguration; fifth, the woman clothed with the sun from the Book of Revelation.
    The next idea has to do with Jesus being a good Jewish boy. The fourth commandment given by God through Moses is to honor your father and your mother. This does not just mean respect, nor caring for them when they are older. It means that whenever you speak about them you should be trying to make them bigger than life – make them look like they are the best parents that ever lived – let everybody see how great they are.
    (Now, I know, some human parents appear not to be worthy of much honor – and this is a terrible tragedy, and it is part of the condition of human sin. The tragedy is especially true for children.)
    But the Holy Family is not in that kind of condition! In fact, it is just the opposite. That is why we honor our Lady and St. Joseph. Jesus certainly did. And if Jesus is going to honor his mother in a way that makes her seem “bigger than life”, what more can he do for her than to assume her into heaven? Jesus, as a good Jewish boy, would honor his mother as only God could do. He made her the Queen of heaven and earth.
    So now we come to yet another biblical example. King Solomon, King David’s son and the son of Bathsheba made his mother the Queen of Israel. This set the pattern for all following kings of Israel. They made their mother the Queen, not their wife. So when Jesus makes his mother the Queen of heaven and earth after assuming her into heaven, it makes perfect BIBLICAL sense! And St. Paul tells us that we are called to imitate Jesus in everything. I think “everything” includes honoring his mother as he did.
    And finally: I think that the honor we are due to give to our Lady is so ridiculed by non-Catholics that it has even bled into our modern culture with all of the bad mother-in-law jokes.
    What do I mean? Jesus is the bridegroom of the church. That places Mary in a very unique position. She is the daughter of the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit, the mother of the Son, and a member of the bride of Christ – the preeminent member of the bride of Christ. So Mary is the mother-in-law of the church, even as she is a member of the church.
    I know: Mary’s multiple positions sometimes makes my head hurt too.
    That is probably the reason why she is honored so much, and ignored so much. Why she is loved so much, and vilified so much. But that is why her prophecy in the gospel today is so important, and it is something that we as Catholics have fulfilled throughout time. Mary said: “From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name.”
    In Mary’s humility we see her glory and honor. And so we honor her – not worship her, worship belongs only to God. But we give to Mary the highest honor that is possible to give to any human being, because Jesus gave her that same honor in making her the Queen of heaven and earth and because she is the mother of our Savior.
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