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THE ALMIGHTY HAS DONE GREAT THINGS FOR ME: Solemnity of The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Luke 1:39-56

Jakarta, 13 August 2017

Frans Indrapradja

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Posted by on August 13, 2017 in MARY, MISCELLANY

 

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THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY

THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY

 (A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY – Sunday, 13 August 2017)

 

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-26 

First Reading: Revelation 11:19;12:1-6,10; Psalms: Psalm 45:10-12,16; Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-56 

The Scripture Text

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of thos who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at His coming those who belong to Christ. The comes the end, when He delivers the Kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15:20-26 RSV)

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not just a celebration of a glorious event in Mary’s life. It’s a celebration of the destiny that awaits all of us. Mary assumption proves that we too can rise again in body and n spirit – just as she was taken body and soul into heaven.

St. Paul taught that through baptism into God’s family, we are set free from the bondage to sin. Yet He also knew that we are still subject to pain and suffering. Living in this world is tough at times, as our bodies and spirits experience the effects of sin and death. One day, however, all of this will be gone – and that’s what we celebrate today. One day, we will die and rise again with Jesus, and all of our wounds will be healed. We will live with Jesus with glorified bodies and divinized spirits, and we will never have to endure the pain and sorrow of this world again.

How should we celebrate this day? By imagining the heaven that was Mary’s destination and that is ours as well. In heaven, we will have never-ending energy to worship God. We will be able to dance and sing and run and jump without ever feeling tired or sick. All the things that have hurt us or could hurt us will not be there. No more sickness or pain. No more tears. No more insecurity. No more distrust or fear or anger or envy. We will know how much we are loved because we will have full communion with God. We will know the acceptance and peace of belonging to our heavenly Father.

In prayer today, let’s us meditate on God’s plan for our resurrection. Imagine what it will be like when we are with Him. Then, as we go about our day, let’s look for ways to bring a little piece of heaven to earth. It only takes one prayer time to begin making a difference. We only need a taste of heaven before we can start spreading the hope and promise of life in Christ to our friends, neighbors, and family. Christ is risen; His mother is in heaven with Him; and we can all join them one day. Who says there’s no good news in the world?

Prayer: All praise to You, Jesus, for conquering death for all of us! You are an amazing, glorious God! Amen. 

Jakarta, 11 August 2017 

A Christian Pilgrim 

 
 

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THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY: THE VISITATION – LUKE 1:39-56

MARIA DIANGKAT KE SURGA

Jakarta, 14 August 2016

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2016 in MARY, MISCELLANY

 

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THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY INTO HEAVEN

THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY INTO HEAVEN

 (A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY – Sunday, 14 August 2016)

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Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-56 

First Reading: Revelation 11:19;12:1-6,10; Psalms: Psalm 45:10-12,16; Second Reading: 1Corinthians 15:20-26 

The Scripture Text

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has regarded the low estate of His hand maiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm, He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent empty away. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”

And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home. (Luke 1:39-56 RSV)

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven is a belief deeply ingrained in the Catholic consciousness, and made a defined dogma of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1950. This doctrine of the Assumption of Mary is one of the greatest obstacles for Protestant Christians. Sometimes, in the face of complaints that this doctrine is not in the Bible, Catholics will agree, but then point out that it comes from tradition, rather than scripture.

This response, while understandable, fails to catch something significant about this belief: It is that the conviction of its truth arose among praying people, especially the monks and nuns, who gave the most time to meditating on scripture. It may be more accurate and helpful to approach the Assumption of Mary by seeing it as scripturally based, but in a different way from those things for which we can point to a particular text as proof.

The Assumption of Mary is consistent with a wide range of biblical data. She is the  woman at total enmity with the serpent (Genesis 3:15). And again, some holy men of the Old Testament were assumed bodily into heaven: Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2Kings 2:11-12). Mary is compared with the ark of the covenant; she is the one in whom the Son of God dwelt and took flesh. She embodies the daughter of Zion, who personifies Israel, the one who reverses the curse of Eve by believing the heavenly messenger.

Mary’s Assumption must be seen from the eternal perspective as part of God’s plan for her to be the mother of His divine Son. Mary’s “yes” to the angel Gabriel was uttered in view of the final glory of heaven. This final destiny beside the glorified Jesus is the full fruit of Elisabeth’s words: “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45).

This heavenly perspective must be applied to the passage from Revelation. Surely, it is no coincidence that the vision of the woman clothed with the sun and wearing a crown of twelve stars follows the opening of God’s temple in heaven and a sight of the ark of God’s covenant (Revelation 11:19). In this vision, both Israel and Mary are represented; it is from Israel, in particular from Mary, that the Messiah-child is born.

On this feast, let us raise our hearts and minds to heaven to contemplate the glorious plan of God and its fulfilment in Mary, the first Christian.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You crowned the Blessed Virgin Mary on the day of her Assumption with a glory beyond compare. You had looked on her lowliness and had made her the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Only-begotten Son. Grant that, by her prayers, we may be saved by the mystery of Your redemption, and share with her in the glory of eternal life. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen. 

Jakarta, 12 August 2016 

A Christian Pilgrim 

 
 

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WE SHOULD SEE MARY IN LIGHT OF THE WHOLE WORK OF GOD

WE SHOULD SEE MARY IN LIGHT OF THE WHOLE WORK OF GOD

(A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY – Sunday, 10 August 2014)

The_Immaculate_Conception_of_the_Venerable_Ones

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-56

First Reading: Revelation 11:19;12:1-6,10; Psalms: Psalm 45:10-12,16; Second Reading: 1Corinthians 15:20-26

The Scripture Text
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has regarded the low estate of His hand maiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm, He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent empty away. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”
And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home. (Luke 1:39-56 RSV)

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47).

Mary’s whole being glorified and rejoiced in God her Savior (Isaiah 61:10). Throughout her entire life, as a true daughter of Zion, she did most perfectly what God’s own chosen people failed to do – she desired God’s will and sought to live it (Luke 1:38). God rewarded her by assuming her – body and soul – into heaven.

We should see Mary in light of the whole work of God. He created the human race in order to have a people with whom He could share His love. But the people chose to live for themselves; they refused to live as His people. A flood destroyed all but the righteous, and from the descendants of these righteous few, God chose for Himself a people through Abraham.

God worked with this chosen people He called Israel, sending them priests, prophets, and kings to guide them. Still, sin corrupted them and they went their own way. What could not be accomplished through His people because their wilfulness, God did in His Son Jesus (who came from that people), through His loving obedience.

Mary was a member of the people chosen by God. But as a faithful daughter of Zion, she glorified and rejoiced in God in a singular way. She did what God wanted all His people to do (Luke 11:27-28). God knew her heart in advance and so worked in her in an extraordinary way, preserving her from sin so that she would be a worthy vessel to carry and care for His divine Son. Through this Son, all people would be drawn together into the Israel of God and be presented to the Father as the people who would love and serve Him.

The assumption of Mary is a sign to the world of what awaits all who respond to God. Mary was taken into heaven to live in the presence of God. What has happened in her life will happen in the live of all who – like her – live singularly for God (1 Corinthians 15:20-25). Her life is a sign that this work is possible in us when we allow God to work in us according to His plan.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are able to do all things. Your love is great, Your plans are from eternity; Your ways are perfect and trustworthy. I long for the day when I will see You face to face! Amen.

Jakarta, 8 August 2014

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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