Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
This weekend, we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I once had a seminary professor who challenged those of us who were having difficulty with some of the points of Marian theology by saying, “If you believe in the resurrection of Jesus – and I hope you all do – then why should you stumble over Mary’s Virginity, the Immaculate Conception, or Mary’s Assumption?”
When I think back on what that professor said, it makes a lot of sense. After all, what is harder to believe, that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven or that God showed His prevenient grace by preserving our Blessed Mother from the stain of original sin and that He assumed her body and soul into heaven so that she would not experience the corruption of death?
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul addresses the fact that there were Christians in Corinth who may have doubted the resurrection of Jesus. That is why in his letter, he makes it very clear: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Cor. 15:20). He says “the first fruits” to remind us that we too have been promised resurrection. How much more appropriate is it that God would give the singular grace to raise His own beloved mother’s body into heaven so that she might assume her rightful place there beside her loving Son?
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary reveals what awaits us when we will be raised up on the last day, when God’s temple in heaven will be opened, and we will see the true Ark of God’s Covenant of love revealed in Mary and in the victory of her beloved Son.
On a different note, the work in the sanctuary (the altar area) of our church is complete. The floor has been replaced and the sanctuary steps have been renovated. In the name of the parish staff, I thank you for your patience, understanding, and financial support. Next in the line of projects will be the repainting of the walls of the church and the creation of a cry room. So, please continue to help us meet the expenses associated with this work. The church building is aging, and we need to address the issues that periodically surface.
Also, please keep praying for everybody’s well-being, especially those who are facing health challenges and those who have lost loved ones.
Thank you and God bless you all.