Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today, during our annual fellowship with the college seminarians of UST Central Seminary and San Carlos Major Seminary, we celebrated the Mass of Our Lady, Mother of Divine Hope. Indeed, it was a grace-filled celebration, with a very profound and inspiring homily given by Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ who talked about the visitation of Our Lady as an experience of being moved from desolation to hope by a tender visit of God's loving mercy.

Indeed, that is what the mystery of the Assumption is about. The Virgin Mary, in her lowliness, was chosen and favored by God. She was thus empowered to bear hope, not only to Elizabeth, but to all of us, who look to her, a sister to all of us, raised in glory to the bosom of the Lord. Where she is now, we hope to be also, for she precedes us as the first and most perfect fruit of our redemption won by Christ. That is why the Church has always looked to Our Lady as a Star pointing us all, seafarers in the bark of Peter, safely to our heavenly destination. If we follow her in following her Son, then we shall arrive to the glory she now shares with him.

As we prepare to celebrate Our Lady's assumption, in these difficult times, with despair and violence surrounding us, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, who leads us, as he did our Mother and his, from the Cross, to fullness of life.

Here is a very beautiful song, easy to learn, that we can probably sing during the solemnity of Our Mother's entrance into heaven, hoping to join her someday in singing God's praises in the eternal Kingdom, where strife and war shall be no more, endless peace and joy for ever.

Mary, our Mother, our hope, assumed into heaven, pray for us!

Who is she ascends so high,
Next the heav'nly King,
Round about whom angels fly,
And her praises sing?

Who is she adorned with light;

Makes the sun her robe?
At whose feet the queen of night
Lays her changing globe?

This is she in whose pure womb

Heaven's Prince remained;
Wherefore in no earthly tomb
Could she be contained.

Heav'n she was, which held that fire,

Whence the world took light,
And to heav'n doth now as pire:
Flames with flames unite.

She that did so clearly shine,

Our Day once begun,
See how bright her beams decline,
Sitting with the Sun.

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