This coming week here at St. Austin Parish promises to be a full one. On Tuesday, August 14, St. Austin School opens for another year of learning, friendship and fun. Please keep the students and the teachers in your prayers.
On Wednesday the 15th we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a holy day of obligation in the U.S.A. Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven. However, ALL of us hope and pray for eternal life and heaven and confidently look forward to the resurrection of our bodies on the last day. Mary’s special privilege is that she does not have to wait until the Final Judgment (the fulfillment of all time and history) to enjoy the fullness of Christ’s redemption in the totality of her being, body and soul. She got it immediately at the end of her life as a special favor. So she is a kind of preview of coming attractions, if I may put it that way. What she enjoys now we hope to share in on the Day of Judgment and the raising of the dead. We see now in Mary what we someday hope to be.
The Apostolic Constitution, Munificentissimus Deus, defining the dogma of the Assumption, states: “…it seems almost impossible to think of her who conceived Christ, bore Him, nourished Him with her milk, held Him in her arms, and pressed Him to her breast, as separated from Him after this earthly life in her body, even though not in soul. Since our Redeemer is the Son of Mary, surely, as the most perfect observer of divine law, He could not refuse to honor, in addition to His Eternal Father, His most beloved Mother also. And, since He could adorn her with so great a gift as to keep her unharmed by the corruption of the tomb, it must be believed that He actually did this.”
In other words, since Jesus is a good son who loves His mother very much, and since Jesus could do this favor for Mary, then of course He must have done this for her. This is logic of the heart, not of the head. The Marian doctrines engage us on levels deeper than rational theology.
And then on Thursday, August 16 we will honor the memory and celebrate the life of our dear friend and brother, Fr. Bob Scott, CSP. It seems altogether fitting that the day after we celebrate the Blessed Mother’s Assumption into heaven, we recall the life and memory of Fr. Bob Scott, another friend and “family member” who we have good reason to believe is in heaven. I am sure that Fr. Bob is enjoying the company of the BVM and she his. Please join us on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. at University Catholic Center, 2010 University Avenue. A reception will follow.