Tuesday, August 15, 2017

OK to Assume ? Yes. (2017-08-15, Assumption)

ASSUMPTION 15 August 2017,
 • Revelation 11:19a, 12:1-6a, 10ab  • Psalm 45 • 1 Corinthians 15:20-27 •  + Luke 1:39-56  •

Title:  “OK to Assume ? Yes.”

[__01__]    Originally, and academically, the word “assume” refers to the action of receiving or taking someone  or something.
            In other words, one could say – in an old-school fashion – that we assume a message or a call. Or, we assume a guest into our own home.
            There is no button on your phone or electronic device for [ASSUME].
            Rather we read, [ANSWER] on the screen.
            That is, we either [ANSWER] the call or we [IGNORE] the call.
            To [ANSWER] is to [ASSUME].

[__02__]     And, the beautiful Good News in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary is her [ANSWER], her affirmation and YES to God.
          And, in God’s time, and at the end of Mary’s earthly life she is received, assumed into heaven, body and soul.
          This assumption is God’s answer to our Blessed Mother.

[__03__]    In the autumn and fall semester of 1986, I began a college semester in England, in the U.K.
          I would spend the first few days in London.
          My grandmother, very much alive and active at the time had a sister who lived in London.
          There was no need to arrange a hotel room. I was told where I would be staying. I was assumed directly into their home and given lodging, food, shelter for me and any friend who might want to join me.

[__04__]    I had a connection, a privileged connection, and an inexpensive connection.
          College students are told not to make too many assumptions, but this one was certainly to my benefit.
          My aunt and uncle took me in, received me, assumed me into their lives, though they had never met me before. This was based on my connection to my grandmother.

[__05__]   A personal connection made the difference for me and make the difference in many of our travels when we go to a new place.
          It makes the difference to Elizabeth and to Mary of the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1.
          While Mary is the one racking up the miles on the road, we could say that both are on a surprising and miraculous journey to a new destination, with Elizabeth as the mother of John the Baptist and Mary as the mother of God, mother of Jesus.
 [__06__]    And, we also observe today that the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Lourdes, is our earthly connection, our first and foremost ground connection, to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 [__07__]    Jesus, as the Son of God, remains our King and God. Yet, Mary is our connection to him.
          When we say the Hail Mary or pray the Rosary, we are meditating on her example, her yes, to God’s will.
          So, in our own times of challenge or confusion, we might consider her example.
Is the upcoming school year going to be unfamiliar, uncharted territory …
… pray for us, sinners.

Is an upcoming challenge of our health or stamina causing us concern.
… pray for us, sinners.

Is the apparent crisis of diplomacy between North America and North Korea stretching our patience, our confidence?
… pray for us, sinners.

In the events and breakdown of public order in Charlottesville (Virginia) and the clash of protestors that resulted in 3 deaths. For the people of Charlottesville and for our country.
… pray for us, sinners.

We are all sinners in need of God’s grace.

 [__08__]    Elizabeth recognizes this, first of all.
          John the Baptist, in his role as prophet makes the connection for us also to Jesus Christ.
          Behold the Lamb of God, Behold him who takes away the sin of the world.
          John Henry Newman writes that an essential characteristic of our Christian prayer is Petition, or Intercession. That is, we are called not only to pray for ourselves but also to pray for others.  (Parochial and Plain Sermons, Book III, Sermon 24, “Intercession.”)
          In this regard, we also imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) by praying both for ourselves and for others.

[__08__]    Mary is our connection to Jesus in heaven, our intercessor. She has been assumed into heaven so that we also may be connected there and recognized and helped by God’s grace.


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