Homily for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2010

In the first place I would like to express my gratitude to the administrator, Father Knudsen, and also to Father Komorowski, for their invitation to preside at this Eucharist. It is good to be able to celebrate the feast of the Assumption of Mary in this parish of Saint Agnes.

Mary, example to and Mother of the Church

In her constitution Lumen Gentium, the Second Vatican Council, inspired by the Holy Spirit, presented Mary as an example to and Mother of the Church. Mary is described as a loving mother “united to [God] by a close and indissoluble tie” (LG, 53)

In the perspective of the motherhood one recognises in Mary a first image of the Church. Mary is the mother of Jesus, the firstborn., but also mother of all christians. She not only expresses that love as a mother through feelings, but also by contributing to the creation and raising of christian people. That is how she participates in the plan of salvation of the Lord.

From the Annunciation by the angel until her standing under the Cross, Mary experiences her motherhood in giving mercy. For us, who are tied to her Son as brothers and sisters, she acts as intercessor with an eye on our path to heaven.

By regarding her as Mother of the Church, the motherhood of the Church gets a very personal expression in the form of a dialogue. As example to the Church she also expresses the mediating task of the Church. Mary mediates for us and guides us from our birth until our death,indeed until we arrive in eternal life. By her Assumption Mary has been given a special place in between the heavenly glory and the earthly existence of the Church. Mary is an example of holiness, held up to us and leading us to heaven. She shows us how we can believe, and how we can answer God’s place that goes further than our earthly existence.

Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!

Mary, mother of hope

In that raising of Mary to the glory of heaven we may find a very good reason to hope. Hope is a divine desire that Jesus laid in the depth of our hearts. As christians we desire that gift which Jesus wants to share with us; moved by the breath of the Spirit, to see the Father in the light of the Son. Our hope as christians transcends our human desires, no matter how justified these may be.

Mary lived her earthly life in deep expectation. She looked forward to the coming of the Messiah which God had promised to His people, and to the salvation that He would realise through the cross and the resurrection. On the hour of Jesus’ death on the cross she hoped against all hope. After Jesus’ Resurrection Mary expectantly looked forward to the coming of the Spirit of truth and love, which her divine Son had promised to send. By and in her Assumption her hope was fulfilled at the end of her earthly life, because she was united with the Holy Trinity.

By her Assumption, Mary keeps alive in us that there is another world. She helps us confess our faith in the Resurrection of Christ. Her Assumption guides us to the resurrected body of Jesus, like the shimmering in a crystal points to the source of that light: the sun.

The dogma of her Assumption focusses our attention on a very great truth of the human body. Our body is not limited to a solely physical reality, because it is called to a glorious destiny. Let us therefore disregard everything that can discredit the body, both ours and that of our brothers and sisters.

Mary, mother of hope, pray for us!

Mary, mother of the new evangelisation

Mary helps us to go forward in the faith. It is Mary who hurries to her cousin Elisabeth to share with her the joy of the mysterious events taking place in her, and who sings her song of Magnificat about the great deeds of the Lord. It is Mary at the wedding in Cana who says: “They have no wine”. An expression of attentive love for us as fellow people and an expression of a strong desire to the coming of the hour of glory.

Mary has been the first in faith. That she may help us in proclaiming the faith in Jesus, the Good News of the Gospel, the motherly teachings of the Church.

Mary, mother of the evangelisation, pray for us!


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