Although Mary, the mother of Jesus, is mentioned very infrequently and sometimes with only a passing sentence in the Christian Scriptures, she has been at the center of devotion for many Christians over the centuries. Today is the feast of Mary variously known as Dormition, Passing, or Assumption that commemorates her passage “body and soul” from this life into eternity. Mary was very young when she was chosen to be the mother of the incarnate God. She knew very little of what her life would be like, but after her “yes” to the invitation of God, it seems that she grew into the role with humility and grace. The song of Mary when she visited her cousin Elizabeth early in her pregnancy, recounted in today’s gospel (LK 1: 39-56), is called the Magnificat. In it, she speaks of God’s choice of her, a lowly young woman, in a prophetic and powerful voice. Through the One to be born of her, God would change the world, toppling the proud and strong and raising up the hungry and powerless.
We celebrate Mary today and all the people who have said a heroic “yes” to the God who is still working in the world to make the vision proclaimed by Mary a reality. We celebrate Mary today for her strength and fidelity, her perseverance and willingness and ask that we may be ready – each time God calls – to answer with a resounding YES to the task at hand.