Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Assumption

Luke 1:39-56

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Barbara Metz

Published: August 15, 2016

Read Luke 1:39-56

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. Read More…


I often think of each of our human lives as an ember that in birth flashes from the immense fire of God’s love and at death falls back into that fire. The ember that is our life carries in it the light and energy of God. God and God’s love are carried in our lives as we journey from birth to death.

In every human life there is the familiar succession of stages of growth and thoughts, actions taken and emotional responses to experiences. All pass away as we grow.  We let go of the things of childhood and move forward with successive stages of life. What remains for each of us, what is eternal in our lives, is the good or evil to which we have given birth in our living and loving.  Our human goodness is eternal. Any tiny bit of light we have brought into the world will never be extinguished. No act of kindness will cease to exist. Neither will our patience, our courage, or our humility fall into nothingness. All will be before God as a reflection of God’s goodness.

Throughout our lives God is within our living and striving, calling us by name and giving us guides in our struggles. Peter in his repentance prays for us; Francis in his joy calls to us; and Therese in her exquisite loving beckons us in the little things that challenge us.

When we die all that is hidden in the depth of each of our lives will be revealed before God. For each of us there is need for repentance.

Today we are celebrating the life and death of Mary whose life was just like ours. She, too, had her conception and birth in the fire of God and in death went back into that love.

Her journey of life was very much the same as ours. Her life began quietly and in obscurity somewhere in Palestine. As she grew her life was filled with change and transitions and with the cares and duties that are common to us all.  She knew our feelings and shared our emotional responses to the experiences that were hers. Joy and genuine happiness were hers, but she also cried our tears and knew our suffering. There was the routine of life in her life. There were hours of questioning the life and actions of her son as well as times that were very ordinary.

Mary’s life, like each of ours came to an end. Unlike us Mary had nothing in all that was part of her journey from God back to God of which she needed to repent. All that was part of her existence, body and soul was totally united with God in her death. This is what we celebrate in the beautiful feast that is her Assumption. In her there was no darkness. Each of her joys and pains, great and small was lived in love. Nothing needed to be abandoned or left behind as she entered into the eternity of God. Mary’s whole life entered eternity. Every joy and pain was assumed. Nothing that was part of her existence was abandoned but all was taken into the eternal goodness of God.

The fulfillment of Mary’s life and of ours is God. This feast inspires hope in us that we too will one day know a unity of existence in eternity with God. The dignity of our bodies will be honored by God and live forever.

Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

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