Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 15, 2013 6:30 and 8:30
Saint Margaret Parish, Bel Air
The Old Guide
There is a story about a man and his young son who went on a camping trip to the mountains.
They hired an experienced old guide, a Native American, who led them into areas that they would never have found on their own. He was always pointing out beautiful little sights that most hikers would have missed.
The young son was fascinated by the guide’s ability to see so much in the surroundings. One day he said to this Native American, “I’ll bet that you can see God out there.”
The old guide smiled and replied, “Son, as life goes on it’s getting hard for me to see anything but God out there.”
Mary Saw God
That wise, old guide helps us to appreciate why we are honoring Mary today.
Mary saw God everywhere in her life. For example, she saw God at work in her bringing this special child into the world.
Mary did not really understand this, but she still saw the greatness and mystery of God at work. In today’s first reading from Revelation, the inspired writer has a vision of a woman and a child being saved from a dragon.
The passage is understood as referring to Mary and Jesus. The vision sees God as stronger and as winning out over the forces of evil and death.
The vision tells us that what we sometimes see as great and strong – symbolized in the dragon – may not be so in God’s eyes. In the gospel, Mary shows that she sees things in the same way as this vision.
Mary sees God’s ways as sometimes the reverse of our ways. She sees God as lifting up the lowly and filling the hungry and being especially present to the humble.
In other words, Mary sees God and the forces of life and goodness as winning out over the forces of death and evil.
So, like the old guide in the forest, Mary sees God everywhere.
She sees not as we humans are sometimes inclined to see, but as God sees. This is what makes her a holy person, the holiest of all human beings.
It is because of this that we believe that Mary came to the fullness of life with God, to resurrection right at the final moment of her life on earth. This is what the Assumption of Mary is all about.
It is why we honor her today.