Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Update: I first published this post with the wrong graphic - sorry for the confusion!
This coming Lord's Day would be counted as the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time if it did not coincide this year on August 15 with a special holy day: the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. (It's also the wedding anniversary of my sister and brother-in-law. Although their special day isn't trumped by the Solemnity, they'll need to share their spot on the calendar with the BVM!)
The readings for this weekend and commentary on them can be found here. Bringing young ones to church? See here for tips on helping children prepare to hear the Lord's Word.
(This feast has a vigil and another set of lections for its celebration on Saturday. You can find those texts here. The links in the previous paragraph give background only on the readings for the Mass of the Day on Sunday.)
The first lesson, from the Book of Revelation, opens with a reference to the ark of the covenant which contained the stone tablets of the law the Lord gave Moses on Mount Sinai. The choice of this text for the Assumption comes from the adoption of the term, "ark of the covenant" as a title for Mary since both she and Israel's ark carried within them the presence of the Lord among his people.
The image above is the Ark of the New Covenant which was fashioned for the Eucharistic Congress in Canada in 2008. It's a beautiful piece of art and background on its symbolism and how it was constructed can be found here and here.
The second lesson, from 1 Corinthians, treats of redemption through Christ whom Mary carried in the "ark" of her womb.
The gospel, from Luke, is the story of the Visitation when Mary travels to see her kinswoman, Elizabeth. The dogma of the Assumption is not one which has a direct biblical source and so there is no gospel account of Mary being assumed into heaven at the time of her death. Rather, the Church develops this teaching as the inevitable passage of Mary (the one who was immaculately conceived) from this life to life forever with God.
The gospel includes the beautiful canticle of Mary's praise: the Magnificat. (See the Word of the Week on the sidebar.)
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Posted by Austin Fleming at 12:05 AM