Luke 1:39-56 I am the Handmaid of the Lord
“A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with a child.” Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, when God honored Mary’s fidelity by taking her up, body and soul, into the glory of heaven. For nine months, she carried the baby Jesus in her womb; for nine months she was the Ark of the Covenant, carrying the word of God within her. She was close to God and today, she is with God and in God. (Pope Benedict XVI)
Why would God give to Mary such a special place in his heart? Because she made God smile! And when you make God smile, watch out!
How do you make God smile? The Bible tells us that God takes delight in the devout.
· When we completely trust Him: “Let it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:2)
· When we faithfully obey him: “I am the handmaid of the Lord.” (Lk 1:38)
· When we continually praise him: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” (Lk 1:46)
· When we use our abilities: Mary was humble and loved the Lord.
Mary knew Scripture well. She was educated in the faith and spent time in the Temple. She knew the promise that God had made to Israel. From the chosen people, from Bethlehem, a king would be born (1Sam 16:1). This was the promise. So when the angel appeared to Mary, she had to know if this was true. Was this an angel from God, or the devil? After all, what the angel promises to Mary sounds similar to the serpent with Eve: “God will make you great!” “You will be famous!”
An angel is a messenger of God, who speaks the truth. The devil is an angel who distorts the truth given to us by God. For this reason, he is the “father of lies.” Mary is cautious in her response. How can this be? I have consecrated my life to God. I am a virgin. God respects our freedom. God respects our promises to him. It sounds like the Lord is asking Mary to go back on her word. Instead, the angel responds, “Do not be afraid, Mary,” you will not have to break your promise to God. “The Holy Spirit will descend upon you. The power of the Most High will overshadow you.” For this reason, Mary is free to respond, “Let it be done to me according to your word.”
Mary’s assumption into heaven is a direct result of her fidelity to the Word of God. Her Son, her Savior, will never abandon those who are faithful to him. The Lord asks, “Who is my mother? Whoever does the Will of my Father in Heaven” (Mt 12:46-50). What Mary experienced awaits us.
Today, let us not break our promises to the Lord; let us not seek a short cut to our happiness and fulfillment. We do not need to compromise our values, morals, principles and faith in order to get ahead. Mary’s victory is our victory if we completely trust him, faithfully obey him and continually praise him!