Published August 20, 2020, 10:00 PM

by Fr. Emeterio Barcelon, SJ



This is the feast of Our Lady which celebrates her going to heaven without going through death and decay of her body. Her body was assumed into heaven without going through death. Of all the women of the world she was chosen to be the mother of the Savior. When the Lord decided to take on human flesh He chose one woman from whom He would take His human flesh. And of all women she chose Mary of Nazareth. She was the chosen one to give the Savior human flesh. So if she is the chosen one who would go through the process of conceiving and living with the God made man for 30 years in her home until he went off to preach His Gospel of salvation and suffer through the crucifixion, it was just right that she would not have to go through death and decay.

Some years ago, the Church allowed each nation to choose one feast of Our Lady as a day of obligation, meaning that you have to treat it as a day of rest and prayer. The United States chose the feast of the Assumption while the Philippines chose the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. As we have seen it as fitting that the body from whom the Savior took His human flesh should not go through the process of death and decay. She entered heaven as the Queen of heaven. As a preacher was saying if you had the opportunity not only to choose your mother but to build her up, would you not make her the best of all possible mothers?

Mary, a young 15-year-old after the angel announced to her that she would be the mother of the Savior, lost no time to make herself useful. She went to help her cousin Elizabeth who was with child in her old age. Elizabeth greeted her with the words we use in the Hail Mary. She asked: How is it that the mother of my Lord will come to visit me? The moment the child in her womb heard her voice, he jumped for joy.

After that Mary stayed with Joseph in Nazareth until the edict of the Emperor forced them to walk to Nazareth. There they could not find lodging. They were advised to go to an animal shelter where the Savior was born. Then she had to walk again to Egypt to save the Child from the edict of Herod who decreed that all male children two years or younger should be killed because the Magi had told him the new ruler had been born. After the death of Herod they walked back to Nazareth.

The next incident we know is the loss of the young Jesus and the finding in the temple. From then on we only know that He stayed with His mother and foster father to grow in wisdom and knowledge. He worked as a carpenter with Joseph till He was 30 years of age and He went to preach the coming of the kingdom.

Mary lived the quiet life of a housewife in Nazareth. The next we hear of them is when she worried in a wedding they attended that the newlyweds would be embarrassed as the wine had run out. She informed her son that they had no more wine. And he changed six jars of water into wine.

The next we hear of her is on her encounter with her son on the way of the cross. She witnessed the crucifixion of her son and His endorsing her to John to take care of her. She was with the apostles when He appeared to them and in the coming of the Holy Spirit. This is the Mary that was assumed into heaven without undergoing death and decay.

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