Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
August 24, 2009
Pope says Mary's assumption is sign of hope for all Christians
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
CASTEL GANDOLFO, ITALY - The assumption of Mary is a sign of hope for all Christians that through Baptism and by faithfully following Christ they will have eternal life, Pope Benedict said.
Mary's bodily assumption into heaven is "the coronation of her faith," a faith that "at every moment welcomed the word of God," he said Aug. 15.
Pope Benedict celebrated Mass for the feast of the Assumption in the tiny parish Church of St. Thomas of Villanova.
In his homily, the pope said that even in moments of "darkness and suffering," Mary continued to follow God's plan of love, placing her life totally in his hands.
For Mary and for every Christian, he said, "all of life is an ascent, all of life is meditation, obedience, trust and hope, even amid the darkness." Pope Benedict said life involves struggles between good and evil and is like "a voyage on often stormy seas; Mary is the star that guides us toward her son Jesus, the sun that rises over the darkness of history."
Mary's life and her assumption "gives us the hope we need: the hope that we can win, that God has won and that, through Baptism, we have entered into this victory," the pope said.
In his Angelus address after the Mass, the pope tied the feast to the Year for Priests. He asked the world's priests to teach their faithful about Mary, using as their model St. John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests.
The pope said the saint repeatedly consecrated his parish to Mary, entrusting each parishioner to her care.
The pope continued his reflection on Mary's Assumption at Angelus on Sunday, Aug. 16.
Jesus was able to become human and give himself for the nourishment and salvation of all people because Mary said "yes" to God's plan that Jesus be born of a human mother, the pope said.
God also needs every man and woman to welcome him so that Christ can live in the world, Pope Benedict said.
"And if we say 'yes' like Mary, or rather to the extent that we give our 'yes,' that which happened in that marvellous exchange also will happen with us: We will be assumed into the divinity of the One who assumed our humanity."
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