Today we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother, body and soul into heaven. We see God honor Mary, as our Mother, as the Mother of Jesus, and we find hope and peace as we await the glorious day when we, too, are brought to eternal rest.
I am in desperate need of peace. Once again, the bustle of a new school year is upon us. The mornings are blurry-eyed and hectic as we shake off the leisure of summer and return to early mornings, packed lunches, and the frantic hunting of shoes. But it is not the rediscovered chaos of a new school year that is robbing my peace, it is the noise, division, and unrest of the world. We are daily bombarded by vitriol, fear, impassioned pleas of one side against another, and it is exhausting. Take the world out of it for a minute, and it still can be a battle to find peace. We worry about the day to day needs of our family that press down on us from all angles, and we struggle to find time to pray, to place ourselves in the center of God’s perfect will.
Our Blessed Mother, as always, reminds us on this feast day that we are not made for this world. That our bodies, which struggle against the pains of age, the limitations of mortal flesh, the pain of pregnancy and childbirth, were made for heaven. And our souls, which aimlessly and restlessly search for peace, for meaning, for abundant joy, were also made for the fulfillment of all of those desires in heaven. But what do we do while we wait? Pius XII, in his prayer for the Assumption exclaims: “O Mother of God and of men, we beg you to purify our senses, so that we may begin to enjoy God here on earth, and him alone, in the beauty of creatures.”
And therein lies our goal—to be ever intent on heavenly things, to be detached from the world, its distorted values and distracting, peace-robbing noise, and to turn our eyes to Jesus. We must begin to enjoy God even while on earth because there is so much to enjoy!
As we reflect on the perfect love of Mary, her beautiful resignation to God’s will and the hope her life and Assumption give us, let’s reflect on the words of Paul to the followers of Christ in an equally terrible time in history:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you (Ph 4:4-9).
Pray for us, Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.