>The Assumption

>Icon of the Assumption

Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption.

And solemnity doesn’t mean, necessarily, somber and morose…rather it can mean big time, important. Meaning, it’s a holy day of obligation, go to Mass. And while this is one of the “biggie” (Yes, I spent my summers in the seventies on the beach, we used that term, so what?) solemnities in the Catholic calendar, I don’t have the energy to give you all the scholarly apologetics behind it all (go see the link above for a start).

As an aside, however, Coffeedoc pointed out that today was the feast of the Assumption to Marta – Ethiopian Orthodox celebrate this feast in a big way and it is called “Filsata Mariam” – and she jumped up and down with excitement. So it’s a big deal even in the the other ancient Christian faith traditions.

Ethiopian Orthodox Marian icon.

Suffice it to say that this Solemnity is totally cool and has so many threads connecting it all that it blows my mind with a grin. And that, as so much of life is, it’s one of the Mysteries. That’s mystery with a capital “M;” theologically speaking. By which I mean, if I really could understand it through and through, well, I would be be both presumptuous AND wrong. Because some of the mysteries that make life and faith so rich, are not for my puny mind to dissect.

So, that all disclaimed, ahem, I give you my personal gloss on this feast day (My blog, massively opinionated, you knew it was coming.):
Mary was a mother who loved with perfect love (unlike myself). Her son was a perfect son, who also loved with a perfect love. Now, if I, with my very imperfect love can love my sons SO much that it can make me cry and mope when they leave for their very fun new exciting lives in college (Next week, I”m just saying.) once again……then how much more so did Mary ache to see her son leave this earth and his time with her in such a grisly unbearable event? And how much did she miss him, achingly miss him, all those years? And therefore, at the end of her life, when she was able to be reunited with her boy, her Son….just think of the joy, the unbridled radiating shimmery JOY, of that reunion! And in this feast, we believe that they were reunited in Heaven.

Frankly, I simply love everything about this. I mean, just having my boy come back home after a few months at college makes me want to whoop, jump for joy, run down the stairs and hug him tight, not let go, feed him pie and just look at him. It makes me ridiculously happy. So, this feast is a promise of that to me, that reunion, that that kind of love between mom and son (or, ok, kids, but hey, let me run this out), doesn’t just die out…it is eternal. And that is the best promise of all and that is nothing but cool.

So, there, moms….that’s something to smile about.
Happy Solemnity of the Assumption!

Detail of painting of Assumption, by Titian

Magnificat (Luke 1:36-55)

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour 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,
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
to remember his promise of mercy,
The promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Lodovico Caracci, The Assumption of the Virgin, about 1586-7

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