Assumption of Mary

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“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” These words, which welled up from the depths of Mary’s heart at the Visitation, re-echo in this cathedral today. They re-echo in our hearts and in the hearts of the faithful in churches and homes throughout our diocese on this beautiful feast of Our Lady’s Assumption. They re-echo in my heart which rejoices that over 12,000 men and women of all ages throughout our diocese entrust their lives to her today. Like the apostle John, we welcome the Mother of Christ into our home, into our hearts. Our Marian consecration is our saying “yes” to the beautiful gift Jesus gave us from the cross when He said to John: “Behold your mother.” We are responding with faith to Our Lord’s gift of love, the gift of His mother, and to our Mother’s love. She wants to act in our lives, to share with us the joy of her faith, to help us to know and follow her Son. She invites us, as she invited the servants at the wedding feast of Cana, to do whatever Jesus tells us. She wants to lead us to know the height and depth…. Of Christ’s love for us. And she wants us to be with her in the glory of heaven, in the presence of the Most Holy Trinity. Today we say yes to her. We say yes to the truths of our baptismal promises. We say with her: “Behold the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your Word.” And so we are able to rejoice with her in God our Savior and to repeat her words in the Magnificat: “the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name.”

I believe the Lord will do great things for us, for our diocese, and for the thousands who make the Marian consecration today. He will do so through the one who cooperated fully in His saving work, through His mother who was the first to experience within herself the supernatural consequences of Christ’s mediation. She pours out upon us and upon the Church her maternal love. Mary is the mediatrix of God’s mercy who helps us to receive the mercy she sang about in the Magnificat, the mercy promised to Abraham and his children forever. She is our mother who stretches out her arms to embrace all who take refuge in her. She is “the most merciful, the most compassionate mother, the most tender mother, the most loving mother” (Saint Lawrence of Brindisi). She gives us hope in the midst of life’s challenges, the hope that comes from placing all our trust in the Lord, like she did. She became our hope when she was assumed body and soul into heaven, our sure hope of salvation. Hope was lost through the sin of Eve; hope is restored through Mary, the new Eve, through whom the Savior, the new Adam, came into the world. Saint Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life.” Mary was brought to life and, when she passed from this world, her body was not corrupted by death. She was assumed body and soul into heaven. There she is our advocate, always interceding for us, accompanying us with her love.

In these past 33 days, we have been united in our prayers of preparation for today, for our Marian consecration, guided by the wisdom of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Saint John Paul II. These spiritual giants, heroes of our faith, reached the heights of holiness, powerfully aided by their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. They learned from Mary, and they teach us to learn from Mary, the way of perfection. They learned from Mary’s example to be faithful disciples of Jesus, to be steadfast in faith, persevering in hope, and abounding in love. They learned, in a word, to follow Jesus. They learned to be authentic Christians, to be saints. T