The Almighty has done great things for me, he has exalted the lowly.
This great feast is a twin to the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. Then, if you recall, the preface of the Mass contained these words: “Christ is the beginning, the head of the Church; where he has gone, we hope to follow.” Today we celebrate the first of us to do just that, as we remember Mary following our Lord into heaven. She is the first to follow him – but not the last: this feast should help open our eyes to our final destination, heaven. So this feast pushes us right back to Easter, to thoughts of death and resurrection: it is the second reading which underlines all this. It talks of the “gradual” resurrection of the dead: Christ first, then “those who belong to him”. Of these, the first is Mary, she who was without stain of original sin, she who was “most blessed of all women.” In her, today, we see the fulfilment of the vision of the first reading: the end of death and the victory of life in Christ.
The daughters of kings are among your loved ones. On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir. Listen, O daughter, give ear to my words: forget your own people and your father’s house. So will kings desire your beauty: He is your lord, pay homage to him. They are escorted amid gladness and joy; they pass within the palace of the king.
Alleluia, alleluia! Mary has been taken up to heaven; all the choirs of angels are rejoicing. Alleluia!
First Reading: Apocalypse 11:19, 12:1-6,10
Second Reading: 1Cor 15: 20-26
Gospel Reading: Luke 1: 39-56