Toward the Top
Pier Giorgio Frasatti was an Italian youth who died on July 3, 1925. His personal motto was “Verso L’alto” or Toward the Top. Being young and athletic, one of his passions was to climb mountains. His motto has become a metaphor for his whole life.
The motto has also become the synthesis of his life. Though young, he had lofty aspirations. He wanted to climb the mountain of holiness. He was always striving for higher things. He did not only want to exist, he wanted to live well!
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is an invitation for us to look toward the top; to seek higher things. Mary challenges us to reach heaven.
Mary’s Assumption is the oldest feast in the Church. It is not in scripture but it has been celebrated since the 3rd century. Our Orthodox brethren calls this as Mary’s falling asleep or her dormition. This feast makes us realize that God had a wonderful plan of Mary; also for us.
In the Gospel Reading, Mary “sings” her song of praise. It was her response to Elizabeth’s revelation of how blest she is. She is blest because of being Mother of God – the Theotokos. Moreover, she is blest because she believed in God’s Word. She is blest because of her faith.
The Assumption of the Blessed Mother gives us three lessons for our reflection:
1. God has a beautiful plan for us. Today’s feast reminds us that God had a beautiful plan for Mary; He, too, has for us. Today people have a lot of fear. They fear almost anything; they’re afraid of the future. Faith is what we need. The Assumption invites us to look up and be optimistic. Trust in God’s wonderful plan for each of us.
2. Death can be a great discovery. Mary rejoiced because God has done so much for her. After her life on earth, God “clothed her with the sun” and “crowned her with twelve stars.” Moreover, He made her Queen of heaven and earth. At the end of our life, we too will realize that we have been destined for higher things. We are meant for heaven.
3. Let us keep believing. Like Mary, let us not be affected by the present struggles and storms we have. Instead, let us keep striving. Keep seeking. Let us keep persisting. God rewards our faith and perseverance.