Homily for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
If you are looking for an appropriate way to observe today’s Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may I suggest weight-lifting.
Today’s feast is a celebration of strength. The strength we celebrate today is more than that shown by Olympic weightlifters—though it includes a little of that—more than the moral strength of a figure like Rosa Parks—though it includes that too—more than the geo-political strength projected by a squadron of B-21 bombers—though that’s not absent either. Add to all of these the strength of a cosmic force—like the gravity of the sun or the moon tugging at the tides—and you get an idea of the strength we’re dealing with.
You may understandably object that I project too much into a scant fifteen-minute encounter passed almost entirely in silence. I concede the complaint. Yet the Spirit radiates where he wills. And the new Eve leads a multitude of daughters (and sons) to compassionate being, which manifests itself in courteous demeanor and directness of gaze. Mary continues both to enchant and to challenge.
Indeed, let me insist: bodily demeanor and gaze. For in an incarnational spirituality the body assumes a dignity and importance that is unique. It is no rarefied “spiritual” assent that we celebrate on Mary’s feast: but a fully embodied “yes” to God’s call.