The Gospel Today
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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.
Reflection (Sem. Rodel D. Aclan)
Service to others cannot be separated from the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. H did not only teach His disciples to serve others, but He Himself served. The four Gospels give witness to the many accounts of His service to the people. He cured the sick, cast out demons, taught the disciples and washed their feet to show clearly the great importance of service to their mission.
The Blessed Virgin Mary bore witness to the value of service to others even before seeing and hearing this from Jesus. The Gospel reading today says that “Mary remained with Elizabeth for three months and then returned home.” This scenario was after she learned from the angel Gabriel that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant in spite of her old age.
As I reflected on this Gospel passage, I realized that one’s willingness to serve is primarily a manifestation of God’s presence in him or her. Other reflections would say that Mary visited Elizabeth to share the latter’s joy in receiving the Good News, but I would like to add that the presence in her of Jesus, the Son of God, moved her to serve. She could have stayed in her house for the reason that she was also carrying a child, and not just an ordinary child but no least than the Son of God. But since she knew that Elizabeth was old, she realized that she will need help and assistance in the course of her pregnancy.
As a seminarian, the Gospel reading today posts a profound challenge to me to look into myself and ask myself: Am I drawn now to serve? The seminary formation is not short of situations and events for service, service to my fellow seminarians, in my apostolate and to the people I encounter every day. I believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven, body and soul not only because she is the mother of Christ, our Saviour, but also she was faithful in witnessing to the teaching of Christ to love and serve others. She was able to serve others even in discomfort because God was with her.
As we solemnly commemorate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may we be inspired to imitate our Blessed Mother to carry Christ in our hearts so that we, too, through Christ’s divine presence in us, us can render service to others and hope that someday we can be with her together with her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in eternal glory. Amen.