1. Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.”
Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.(Lk1:39-58). Today’s gospel for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
2. Today the Catholic world celebrates the day that Mary, the mother of Jesus was taken to heaven, body and soul. The Church teaches that at the end of her earthly life, Mary died like any other human person but her spirit returned to her body, a fulfilment of Jesus’ promise of resurrection that all flesh will know at the end of time. He thus made Mary the first human to experience the resurrection. In this new state of resurrected body she was taken to heaven by the angels of God just as it happened to the prophet Elijah. The gospel chosen for this celebration is that of the visit of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth.
3. When Mary arrived her cousin’s house and greeted her, the child in her womb leapt for joy and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. This experience was exceptional and manifested the fact that we can only give what we have. Mary is a joyful personality. All who encounter her experience what is in her. She transmits what she has. Thus even the baby in the womb could feel her personality. The baby could feel the Jesus that is in her womb and leapt for joy in appreciation of God’s salvation that was so imminent. Mary was also filled with the Holy Spirit and that explains why Elizabeth was also filled with the Holy Spirit at hearing her voice.
4. When two holy people meet they fill the heaven with sweet accord. So Mary tuned the magnificat praising God for all he has done for her and for humanity. She proclaimed the blessing that is already there and would continue till the end of time, namely that “henceforth all generation shall call me blessed for the almighty has done great things for me, holy is his name.”
5. Mary in her humility affirmed her nothingness and the greatness of God who exalts the lowly and brings down the haughty, who fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty. Mary knew that she is what she is because God decided to favour her. But fully aware of her new position, Mary still remained humble even to visiting her old cousin and spending three months with her. Elizabeth was conscious of this condescension and affirmed it when she said: “who am I that the mother of my saviour would visit me.” Mary’s greatness did not swell her head. She continued to see herself as the humble maidservant of the Lord.
6. Today we affirm through our celebration the prophesy of Mary that all generation shall call her blessed. The solemnity of Assumption invites you to humility. You may have risen in rank, dignity and riches above your mates. You may have worked harder and succeeded more than your mates. Do not lose your humility. Be a child of Mary. Be her imitator. Be humble because God will continue to exalt the lowly and bring down the proud. Mary’s humility took her to heaven. Yours will equally lift you higher till the kingdom of God. Happy solemnity of Assumption.