OMELIE / Omelie EN
15 ago 2019 15/08/2019 Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
15/08/2019 Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Reading 1 RV 11,19; 12,1-6.10 * Psalm 44 * Reading 2 1COR 15,20-26 * Gospel LK 1,39-56
“God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple”! With this image the first reading begins. In the first Temple, Salomon's one, a gilded wooden coffer was encasing the ark of the covenant given by God to Moses, a vase containing manna gathered in the desert after leaving Egypt and some other sacred objects. The people of Israel, when it had with it the Ark of the Covenant, would feel safe, as if God Himself was present. It was kept inside the holy of holies: nobody then could see it but the high priest. Now, while the sanctuary is opening, everyone can see it, everyone can enjoy this sign of the presence of the greatest God. You could say that God does not hide anymore His presence, everyone can now approach Him!
Ark of the Covenant is one of the titles which the Christians have given Mary since the very beginning. It is she who, when heaven leaned over the earth, has carried in herself the body – so the physical presence – of whom is called the Son of the Most High, the Son of David, the Son of Man, the Son of God! In Mary's body there is the presence of God Himself! She is truly an ark that encases the embodiment of the covenant of God with the whole human race, so His love! Jesus is the love with which the Father has “so loved the world”! He Himself has called His own blood “my blood of the covenant”. He has been hidden in Mary’s body, who has taken part in this way in His sanctity and, we might even dare to say, in His divinity.
The calling of the ark is accompanied by an image that introduces a threatened woman in labour. With this image the Lord wants to tell us the history of the Church, but our thought goes first to the one who first has given her life to the Son “destined to rule all the nations”. For sure it is her Son who is at the centre of the attention and the reason why she has been chosen by God. The goal of her life and of all her service is the Son, Son of God, saviour of all men, king who establishes God’s kingdom on earth. God is accustomed to give a reward to whom serve Him with love, as Jesus Himself has often told in different parables, even more, He has also said that those who serve Him the Father will honour. The origin of today’s feast is based on these promises.
The honour that the Father grants to the Mother of His Son, the obedient and faithful handmaid, is an honour that becomes the person who grants it. The honour that God grants could possibly be just a medal, or would not be instead a concrete prize, full, eternal, becoming God? Are we able to think of something better than what He could have thought already?
Mary, as the Ark of the Covenant, receives all the honours and the same destiny of whom she carries inside herself. We do not have then to get too much troubled in welcoming the news about Mary sharing with Jesus the grace that her body will not be destroyed in the tomb. The free gift given by God to Mary we, in the Catholic Church, call “Assumption into Heaven”; the Eastern Church gives another name to this mystery: “Dormition of Mary”. This privilege granted her is, as all the realisations of the Father's will, a gift for us, for all Christians and for all men. We rejoice seeing the mother perfected and made glorious, who has been given as mother to us as well. We rejoice and receive the strength to persevere in our hope, because what the mother enjoys is the richness, consolation and the pride of the children.
Today, therefore, we celebrate, we sing to whom our Father has honoured. She has carried in herself physically the whole fullness of the deity! We sing with her the Father’s mercy, the beauty of His faithfulness and of His love for the poor and the sinner, we sing with her our thanksgiving to the God who looks at His servants’ humility. We sing with her, because we too have been chosen to carry inside us the body of her Son: we can eat today too His Body, and then we become too in a very real way the ark of the new covenant of God with the men. From Mary we learn the joy and the faithfulness to live this grace, instead of like a heavy burden, more like a joyful and never-ending thanksgiving.