So much to say on this day! Yesterday was the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. I remember 11 years ago when I moved to Belgium I had no idea what religious holiday could possibly be in August. And now I know!
Reading 1 Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
Responsorial Psalm Ps. 45:10, 11, 12, 16
Reading 2 1 Cor 15:20-27
I was actually fortunate enough to attend Mass and listen to the Bishop’s homily at the Cathedral this weekend. He really covered a lot, from how Mary’s assumption became dogma, how important the body is to our experience of God, purgatory, and even what to do with the body after death! It was like Catholic 101 packed into 30 min.
The most interesting part to me was when he talked about experiencing the sacraments through our body. The sights, smells, and tastes are all part of the Catholic worship experience. And why shouldn’t they be? We’re souls created in a body and while our bodies may cause us many trials and tribulations through our lives, this is how we experience the world. Why wouldn’t God try to reach us through every mean possible?
What is also always interesting to me and I have to shake myself awake sometimes to remember the difference, is how Mary is so honored in Catholic tradition. I used to be under the (false) impression that because Catholics didn’t allow women to be priests they were somehow dishonoring women, suppressing them. I really failed to recognize how the most highly honored person in the Catholic tradition is without a doubt the Mother of God, Mary (Jesus is Divine). Whereas in my Lutheran church growing up, Mary was hardly ever even mentioned. Actually, what women were even present in the church? The answer is none, until they started ordaining women (within the last 40 years). Catholics had that honoring women thing going on long before feminism was cool!
I do love the prayer that Mary says after she’s greeted by Elizabeth. And, as usual, I love reading verses from a common prayer and going “Hey, so that’s where it came from.” Example today was (obviously) the Hail Mary.