"in joyful hope"
"He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places." —Luke 1:52
In 1950, Pope Pius XII officially recognized the assumption of Mary into heaven as part of divine revelation. The Church had believed this for many centuries, but the Pope was led by the Spirit to make it official in order to give us hope. In 1950, the world was beginning to realize that no one had won World War II or any other war. Every nation had lost, some more than others. A terrifying sadness was gripping Europe and beyond. We needed a sign of hope, and Mary assumed into heaven was a sure sign of hope.
After Enoch was assumed into heaven, his son, Methuselah, became the oldest person to have ever lived (Gn 5:24, 27). This is the Bible's way of saying that the reign of death was not absolute and that humanity momentarily took a step toward paradise rather than away from it. Enoch was a sign of hope.
When Elijah was assumed into heaven, Elisha was filled with a double portion of Elijah's spirit (2 Kgs 2:9-11). By the power of the Spirit, Elisha and his disciples brought down the wicked kingdom of Ahab and Jezebel. Elijah's assumption was truly a sign of hope.
Today, as we celebrate Mary's assumption, receive a double portion of the Spirit. Be hopeful, and be a living sign of hope.
Prayer: Father, may I fix my eyes on Your Son, Jesus, and be filled with hope (Heb 3:1, 6).
Promise: "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." —Rv 12:1
Praise: Praise Jesus, Whose Mother reigns in glory with Him forever!
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 1, 2011
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