For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ

Fanciful stories and romantic notions. This day is a bit about that. Fanciful stories and romantic notions. It comes from the idea that we, and I want to emphasize we have to do something with our Blessed Mother. 

Indeed, we owe Mary a debt of gratitude for her fiat, her acceptance of God’s will for her, that she be the mother of His Son Jesus. We owe her a debt of gratitude for the ministry she performed, both throughout her Son’s life, and in the early Church. She left us an example of dedication and service that we should all be following.

At the same time, there is no gospel of Mary. Rather, Mary lived the gospel path her son laid out for all of us. As a faithful follower of her Son, by her yes to God and her service, she showed us that we too can follow Jesus’ gospel path. Mary did not propose alternatives.

What Mary did say we read in today’s gospel: “From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name.” The entire Magnificat concerns what God has done and is doing. Mary is the vessel through which God would accomplish the works Mary praises. Accordingly, she deserves honor, respect, and the title blessed. Blessed is she among women because the fruit of her womb is the Blessed One.

So, what must we do with Mary? If we hold Mary in esteem, as we should, we honor her rightly. We must not ascribe to fanciful stories and romantic notions. We do not make her ‘appear’ over trees, in the hills, and on mountain sides sharing ‘special messages.’ We do not remove her humanity. We do not rush her resurrection from the dead. We follow the gospel path her Son Jesus laid out for us. We trust His words alone. We follow His teachings exclusively. We honor and esteem Mary. We seek her intercession.  We entrust ourselves to the power of her prayer before the Throne of God.

Bottom line is that we need not ‘do’ anything with the path of Mary’s life and death. We need not impose our fanciful stories and romantic notions on Mary. We need only trust that if we too follow Jesus like she did then we, like she, will be brought to life at Christ’s coming.

Solemnity of the Dormition

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Dormition. According to Holy Tradition Mary spent her life after Pentecost supporting and serving the Church, and lived in the house of the Apostle John in Jerusalem. The Archangel Gabriel had revealed to her that her repose would occur in three days. The apostles, scattered throughout the world were miraculously transported to be at her side when she died. Mary was buried in Gethsemane, according to her request. After three day, the Apostles visiting her grave found her body was gone, leaving a sweet fragrance. An apparition is said to have confirmed that Christ had taken her body to heaven after three days to be reunited with her soul.

The key is that we honor and love Mary for her faith example. Like her, we are to live after our Pentecost, after our regeneration, supporting and serving the community of faith, the Holy Church. Following her example of humility, faith, and service, we live as children of the Father and the body of Christ, never making ourselves more than or greater than her Son.