Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Assumption

Luke 1:39-45

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Anne Flanagan

Published: August 15, 2014

Read Luke 1:39-45

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…


For the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, do you remember when Pope Pius XII declared this to be a dogma of the Church? It was in 1950, almost 65 years ago, an era full of devotion to Mary. Yet the Faith Community long believed that after Mary died, sometimes called her Dormition, she was taken body and soul into Heaven. This feast reminds us that we, too, will be raised from the dead with gladness and joy to join Jesus and Mary.

Byzantine Art portrayed the Assumption of Mary in many holy icons. It is well worth seeing and pondering them. They can be found on a website from the Marian Library at the University of Dayton. (http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/
meditations/kimball.html)

As I read and reflected on the Gospel for this feast, at first I wondered why the Gospel from Luke on the Visitation was chosen. However, it is most appropriate in many ways. Along with Mary’s fiat at the Annunciation, it summarizes her whole life. Surely Mary’s life from Nazareth, Bethlehem to Calvary, as well as at the Resurrection and Pentecost was in praise of God. She recognized that all she was came from God in her gifts, her call to be who she was as Mother of Jesus!

Meister Eckhart defined prayer as “to stand in one’s own being and to take joy in it.” Surely in the Magnificat, we see that this was Mary’s stance before God

How often we have prayed Mary’s prayer, even daily in Evening Prayer. The Magnificat must have been a favorite prayer of our foundress, St. Julie Billiart. It was the prayer that the Sisters heard her sing at the end of her life. We can also hear an echo of the Magnificat in Julie’s own expression, “How good is the good God?”

In Luke’s Gospel, the Magnificat is set in the context of a journey. Mary hastens to Elizabeth to proclaim the good news of what God has done for her. Jesus’ own journey from Bethlehem to Calvary to Resurrection was a proclamation of the good news of our salvation.

For Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and all Christians, Mary is the not only the mother of Jesus, she is also our sister. As we celebrate this feast, let us praise God’s goodness in our own lives. In conclusion, I share this anonymous reflection which can lead us more deeply to pray with Mary “my being…proclaims your goodness!” Is that not our call?

MUSINGS ON THE MAGNIFICAT

My soul glorifies you my God,
My spirit rejoices in you my Saviour! For you have blessed me lavishly
and make me poor before you.
You take from me all my plans
And give me more that I can hope for or ask.
You give me opportunities and the ability
to become free and to burst through
my boundaries.
You give the strength to be daring,
to build on you alone, for you show
Yourself as the ever greater One in my life.
Your have made known to me this:
It is in my being servant
that it becomes possible
For your realm to break through
Here and Now.

 

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