Hi everyone, and welcome to Weekly Homilies with Father Mark Suslenko, Pastor of SS. Isidore and Maria Parish in Glastonbury, Connecticut. We are part of the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford. I'm Carol Vassar, parish director of communications, and you're listening to Season 4, Episode 27 for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: August 15, 2021. Our Gospel reading is from Luke, Chapter 1, verses 39-56.
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel, for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.”
Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
The Gospel of the Lord
“Look There, Not Here” by Father Mark S. Suslenko, Pastor, SS. Isidore and Maria Parish, Glastonbury, Connecticut
When someone asks us to do something we've never done before, it's often helpful if they give us some guidance in terms of how to do it to provide us with some measure of direction. This is also true if we're venturing to a place that we've never been before, it's helpful if we find it out first directions to get there. It avoids a lot of hassle, a lot of undoing and a lot of unnecessary mistakes and frustrations.
The same is true of life. You know, sometimes we live our lives as if we know for ourselves what we need to do to find true happiness and peace. That somehow it's within our own control, exclusively, how to chart that course and how to find our way through this existence. We tend to forget that we are hardwired for something bigger and greater that we're not destined to just simply be here, but that the soul that God gives us, the essence of our uniqueness, the essence of ourselves is intended to live forever with God. That's how he planned things. And so as we go about the business of our lives and we try to get direction for living, we have to look beyond ourselves to that greater purpose and goal to which we are called.
Today's Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary provides us precisely with that direction.
Mary, who herself was assumed body and soul into heaven, is the one who can urge us on, to encourage us, to be our cheerleader in life, so that we keep our proper focus and find proper direction. When you consider her relationship with Jesus as his earthly mother, that relationship pierced her heart as she watched her son face his final moments on the cross. There were tender exchanges along the way, I am sure, but throughout his whole life, as a mother, she had to watch her son empty himself of himself, and invest himself in something greater. Jesus's life was all about letting go of this world and fixing our eyes on what is to come.
It is Mary who, through her own example, tells us to look not here, but to look there. Certainly if she didn't have the wisdom of mind, heart and soul, she could have easily clung to the earthly Jesus, kept him for herself, safeguarded him for her own earthly journey. But through our own generosity of love and heart, she was able to let him go, and knew that her role was to be his cheerleader, to keep him focused, to keep him strong, and to support him, even though it hurt her so deeply.
And so she wants to support us as well. She wants to be our advocate. She wants to be our cheerleader. So that with the relationship that we build with the Blessed Mother, a strong one indeed for our spiritual lives, it is through her intercession and through her example that we can hear her tenderly say to us, especially in moments of darkness or an hours of need. “Look there, not here." Look there, not here. We tend to be so consumed in our earthly lives, and I think it's simply because we it's all, we really know. If we look at our own happiness, our own sense of fulfillment, what brings us peace in this world? We only know what is before us. What is yet to come is still a mystery.
The future is not within the realm of vision. And so tendency is to keep our eyes fixed here, and forget that it's there that we are ultimately meant to be. That there is nothing in this world that can be so grave that it keeps us from understanding the truth that God wishes to reveal in our hearts and the destiny we are meant to share.
And so as we continue our earthly journeys, journeys that often get difficult, journeys that can be filled with pain, journeys that can be filled with grief, we can with the intercession and help of the Blessed Mother. Listen to her. And as she encouraged her son, she encourages us.
Look there, not here. What is in store for you is far greater than anything you can possibly imagine. Imagine that the things of this world are in God's care, just trust in him.
Father Mark Suslenko is the pastor of SS. Isidore and Maria Parish in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Learn more about our parish community www.isidoreandmaria.org. And follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Our music comes free of charge from Blue Dot Sessions in Fall River, Massachusetts. I’m Carol Vassar. Thanks for joining us.