The Universal Church will be celebrating the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 8 September 2014.
How old is the Virgin Mary?
She gave birth to Jesus Christ at the age of around 16, please compute yourself (2014+16=?).
What is She doing now?
Multi-tasking: taking care of Her children’s physical and spiritual affairs, these include teaching Her children how to become great both in the eyes of God and men and actively helping them to achieve this goal. She is their Advocate & “Mediatrix of all Graces” – this job title tallies with Her profession as the Law Expert & Teacher.
If the Mother is always busy doing good & all that are beneficial and someone says that he /she is a true child of Mary and yet has been doing nothing or actively working on the “opposite”, then don’t you think something must be very wrong? 8-)
What did Her Son Jesus Christ said about Her?
Among many other titles, He named Her “Seat of Wisdom”.
What has She accomplished in these 2000 years?
She has been producing many great and small saints who had accomplished many great things in life & beneficial to the human race. All of them “名垂千古”in their own different ways.
There is a verse that best described the Virgin Mary:
“For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains the favour of Yahweh; …” (Proverbs 8:35)
How to identify Her “true children”?
All Her “true children” have something in common: being led by the Holy Spirit (cf. Romans 8:14). How about those who don’t? You decide! 8-)
A wise & elderly Grandfather told us: ‘The Virgin Mary taught me one important thing: You want to be happy and successful, be wise and team up with the wise. See the Virgin Mary was happy living and working with Her Spouse Saint Joseph and they were faithful supports to each other in life. Now they are still happy with each other’s company in heaven. Live your life sensibly, don’t regret and cry later.’ We have nothing to add.
On 15 August 2014, the Universal Church celebrated the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM); we have extracted the Mass Readings and the Homilies of the Popes to share with you.
Assumption of the BVM, First Reading:
Extracted from the book of the Apocalypse 11:19; 12:1-6, 10
The sanctuary of God in heaven opened, and the Ark of the Covenant could be seen inside it.
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth.
Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet. Its tail dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them to the earth, and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother.
The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, while the woman escaped into the desert, where God had made a place of safety ready.
Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ.’
Assumption of the BVM, Responsorial: Psalm 45: 10-12, 16
Response: On your right stands the queen, in garments of gold.
The daughters of kings are among your loved ones.
On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Listen, O daughter, give ear to my words:
Forget your own people and your father’s house.
So will the king desire your beauty: He is your lord, pay homage to him.
They are escorted amid gladness and joy; they pass within the palace of the king.
Assumption of the BVM, Second Reading: Extracted from the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 15:20-26
Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man.
Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him.
After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet.
Mary has been taken up into heaven;
All the choirs of angels are rejoicing.
Assumption of the BVM, Gospel Reading:
Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Luke 1:39-56
Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.
Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? From the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’
And Mary said:
‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my saviour; because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name, and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm, he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy – according to the promise he made to our ancestors – of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1. “Magnificat anima mea Dominum” (Luke 1:46)!
Today the pilgrim Church in history joins in the Blessed Virgin Mary’s canticle of exultation; the Church expresses her joy and praises God because the Mother of the Lord enters triumphantly into heavenly glory. The definitive fulfilment of the meaning of the words that Mary spoke in response to Elizabeth’s greeting at Ain-Karin: “He who is mighty has done great things for me” (Luke 1:49), appears in the mystery of her Assumption.
Through the paschal victory that followed Christ’s death, deeply united with the mystery of the Son of God, the Virgin of Nazareth uniquely shared in its saving effects. With her “yes” she fully cooperated with the divine will; she intimately shared in Christ’s mission and was the first to enter into glory after him, in body and soul, in the integrity of her humanity.
Mary’s “yes” becomes joy to all who were in darkness and the shadow of death. Indeed, through her the Lord of life came into the world. Believers rejoice and venerate her as Mother of the children redeemed by Christ. They contemplate her today, in particular, as a “sign of hope and comfort” (Preface) for every person and for every people on the way to the eternal homeland.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us turn our eyes to the Virgin whom the liturgy invites us to invoke as she who breaks the chains of the oppressed, brings light to the blind, drives away every evil and implores every good for us (cf. Hymn for Second Vespers).
2. “Magnificat anima mea Dominum”!
At today’s solemnity the ecclesial community renews Mary’s song of thanksgiving: it does so as the People of God and asks every believer to join in the chorus of praise to the Lord. St Ambrose already urged this in the early centuries: “In each one may the soul of Mary praise the Lord and the spirit of Mary exult in God” (St Ambrose, Exp. Ev. Luc., II, 26). The words of the Magnificat are as it were the spiritual testament of the Virgin Mother. Therefore they quite rightly constitute the heritage of all who, recognizing themselves as her children, decide to welcome her into their homes as did the Apostle John who, at the foot of the Cross, directly received her as Mother from Jesus (cf. John 19:27).
Continue next page ...
31 August 2014