Mary’s Fidelity Until the End

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into heaven. We remember today the 4th Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary. Many people confuse this solemnity with that of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus. The Lord’s Ascension describes how Jesus returned from where He had come from to sit on His throne in heaven and prepare a place for us all. It was by His own power as God that Jesus ascended into heaven, back to the Father, where He is seated at His right hand. The Assumption of Mary, on the other hand, refers to the time when Mary was, not of her own accord, but by the grace and power of God, exalted into Heaven. It is by the power of God that Mary was taken up to heaven body and soul.

A story is told of a catechist teaching in the public school asking her elementary students this question, “What is that unique trait of Mary that made her go up to heaven?” One of the students raised his hand and answered innocently, “Si Maria man gud kay gaan kaayo, mura og feather ug dahon, mao nga nisaka siya ug nilupad padung sa langit.” True indeed, that which is light and gaan are those that can go up and fly towards heaven. Today’s Solemnity of Our Lady’s Assumption into heaven is a beautiful reminder of this truth.

On November 1, 1950, the Church declared this as a dogma of faith through Pope Pius XII who said, “Mary, after her earthly life was assumed gloriously body and soul to heaven.” Unsa man ang nagpagaan sa atong Mahal nga Birhen Maria? What made her go up to heaven? Our Blessed Mother has a unique role in the plan of salvation. She allowed God to do great things for her and through her. Mary was chosen and was immaculately conceived, and not only that, she was called, “blessed among women” to be the mother of God’s only Son. Mary’s life was filled with God’s grace and that she lived faithful until the end. She did her best to live only for God, said ‘no’ to temptation and avoided sin. Her Assumption into heaven is a reward also for living a good life here on earth. These are the virtues that made her light/gaan. What makes our Christian life heavy? It is sin. Isn’t it that when we commit sin, bug-at kaayo ang atong pamati? We feel guilty. We feel a certain heaviness within us, we are not at ease. When we commit sin, we are not at peace. We feel far from ourselves, we feel distant from our brothers and sisters, we do not feel close to God. Ang kasal-anan ang magpalayo kanato sa Dios.

That is why the young Dominic Savio took as one of his motto this phrase, “Death rather than sin!” In his young age, through the grace of God, his personal efforts, and the guidance of St. John Bosco, he understood clearly that what will raise him up is to avoid sin in his life (nasabtan ni Dominic Savio nga ang makapasaka nato sa langit mao ang paglikay sa pagpakasala). This is also the challenge and invitation for all of us Christians. Let us remove those that bring heaviness in our lives. Let us take away those that do not bring peace and harmony in us. Let us take out those that will not lead us closer to God. Let us remove those that will bring us away from ourselves and from our brothers and sisters. Let us choose to say ‘no’ to temptation to sin. Let us make it a habit to do good always even when it is difficult. Let us learn to live a life in God’s grace and mercy. This is the reason why St. John Bosco constantly reminded the young people to celebrate the sacraments of Reconciliation, that is Confession, and the Eucharist. He is telling all of them and all of us to live always in the grace of God. There is serenity and harmony when we are at peace with God, with ourselves, and with other people. When there is peace, there is real joy and lightness/pagkagaan sa atong kinabuhi. How do we feel after an experience of being forgiven and being reconciled with someone? We feel light. We feel at peace. We feel happy. We feel closer to the person once again. This is the same way whenever we are in the state of grace. In this way, like Mary, we know how it is to be in the state of grace, to be close to God.

Brothers and sisters, today’s Solemnity of Our Lady’s Assumption into heaven is a call for us to live in the state of grace while here on earth, to live a good life, to do our best to resist the temptations of the devil, and to avoid sin. As the lyrics of a song by Mike Lapid goes, “Heaven is a place where we belong, way up in the air let’s sing along, up to the heaven where she (our Blessed Mother) is enthroned, it’s a joy of my soul to go back home.” Let us remember, those who are light/gaan are those who can go up easily, heaven is our home, and we see this in our Lady’s Assumption into heaven. Amen.

Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.

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