Reflection: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Tuesday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Apo.11:19, 12:1-6, 10; Ps.44; 2nd Reading – 1Cor.15:20-26; Gospel – Lk.1:39-56]


Today’s solemnity follow the readings of the Annunciation of our Lord Jesus Christ earlier on in the year (celebrated on the 25th March) where we were told what was God’s intention to save mankind and how Mary became part in the history of Salvation. In today’s gospel we are told what Mary did immediately after her reply to the Messenger: that she was ready to do God’s will. Mary not only “said” that she was ready to do the will of God, but we are specifically told that she also started to perform the will of God as soon as she could: “Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah…” She “…set out at that time…” and “…went as quickly as she could…” If she had made herself the “handmaid” of the Lord, then it follows that she had to hastily perform what she accepted to do – that is, to be open and to accept what is to be done to her according to the word of God. Mary’s readiness to do God’s will and then actually carrying out the will of God gave rise to other phenomenon. Her greeting was enough for the unborn child in Elizabeth’s womb to leap for joy (even though this child did not know Mary and the child that Mary was bearing). According to the Announcement of the Angel of the Lord, Mary had the Lord with her and so she was under the influence of the Holy Spirit. In this way she became the channel through which the same Holy Spirit could “fill” those who were open to Him with His presence. This is what happened to Elizabeth in today’s Gospel through Mary (who was filled with the Holy Spirit). Elizabeth’s astonishment and the loud cry she gave is her way of externalising the internal joy she was feeling. Elizabeth’s eulogy to Mary in today’s gospel seems to be coming from a person who already knew what God was doing in Mary. She also dares to ask a question which she does not wait to have an answer for: “Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?” The Annunciation gospel does not tell us if Elizabeth had any vision from the Angel of the Lord or if anything about God’s plan was disclosed to her. We were only told that to Mary, Elizabeth became a sign of God’s infinite love especially to Elizabeth because Elizabeth became with child though others called barren. When Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, she could recognise Mary from God’s point of view. Elizabeth could see Mary for what she truly was and in fact she calls Mary “the most Blessed” of all women and tells us why she is addressing Mary with that title: because Mary “believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Mary was indeed blessed by God himself because Mary believed and acted as a person truly faithful to the word of God and to what she herself had promised to the Lord.

“Lord, we all admire Mary for her relationship with You. On the one hand we see in her that person who was chosen by You to become the Mother of Jesus. On the other we see in her a person just like us dealing with the normal ups and downs of life. Lord, give us the wisdom to be like Mary where we totally believe in your word and carry out your will. Thank You Lord!”



Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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