Pastor's Desk: Feast of the Assumption

Posted 14th August 2010 in Pastor's Desk

This week’s article comes from Fr. Tom Cahill, writing for Intercom magazine.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This feast really is a test of faith. Today’s First and Second Readings don’t make things any easier. I suppose for many it’s just a feast and that’s it. Just something we commemorate because the Church teaches infallibly that it happened. Interestingly, she says nothing about how it happened but asserts that it did. I think this feast should not be seen as an isolated event. If today’s readings are telling us anything it’s that the event we commemorate is part of a grand plan unfolding.

The First Reading from the Apocalypse, using what for us at this distance is very strange imagery, tells of the conflict between good and evil. We can all identify with that to some degree as we experience this tug-of-war on a daily basis in our own lives. The purpose of this reading and its weird symbols is not to tell us that such conflict occurs – we know that already – but that the outcome is assured: victory for the good. That is not something we may know already, or always experience. We may be duped at times into thinking that evil is more powerful than good. How wrong we would be should we think that way. Today’s feast should help to convince us of that.

So too should our Second Reading from Paul (1 Cor 15:20-26): ‘The last enemy to be destroyed is death.’ Mary did not undergo death as we know it, according to Church teaching. She did not undergo bodily corruption. In Jesus’ resurrection, the perceived finality of death has been shattered.

Fr. Tom Cahill SVD, Divine Word Missionaries

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