hope for the hurting
"A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars." —Revelation 12:1
Many people are so broken and crushed by the sins of our society that they have given up hope. Some consider suicide while most people choose the slow suicide of compulsive behavior, mindless TV-watching, or empty pleasure-seeking. However, even in a world crushed by the wages of sin, we have hope. Today's solemn feastday proclaims Mary, Jesus' mother, as a sign of hope.
From the Spirit's prophetic word to the Church for centuries, we believe that Mary was taken up into heaven at the end of her life. Enoch and Elijah seem to have also received this special grace from God (Gn 5:24; 2 Kgs 2:11). Through the power of her Son, Mary had immediate and total victory over death and decay. She is a sign of hope that we also can see God's glory and victory in our lives no matter how bad our situation.
We can proclaim "the greatness of the Lord," find "joy in God" our Savior, and see Him do "great things" for us (Lk 1:46-49). Mary has received the fullness of God's grace and gives us sure hope that we will also be "full of grace" (Lk 1:28, RSV-CE).
Prayer: Father, thank You for Mary and other victorious people who give us hope.
Promise: "In Christ all will come to life again, but each one in proper order: Christ the first fruits and then, at His coming, all those who belong to Him." —1 Cor 15:22-23
Praise: "Who more than Mary could be a star of hope for us? With her 'yes' she opened the door of the world to God Himself" (Spe Salvi, Pope Benedict XVI, 49).
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on The Assumption of Mary on audio AV 81-1 or video V-81.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009
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