Dear Sacred Heart family,
This Wednesday, we celebrate the Assumption, which is a Holy Day of Obligation. As a mother wants her children to flourish, she requires her children to eat healthy food, get their sleep, do their homework, etc. Why? Because a Mother knows certain things are good for her kids. They will be happier and do well later if they make smart decisions now. Even today, scientific studies tell us we really should eat our vegetables, get enough sleep, and live a balanced life, because those habits cure cancer, make us more successful, lead to a longer life. This is similar to the Church; She is a Mother. Not to be confused with administrative offices or necessary bureaucracies. Rather, the Church is Christ’s Bride, and Mother of the Children of God.
This is one of many reasons why the Church marks out certain awesome feasts as “Holy Days of Obligation.” We receive heavenly graces for our journey here, and greater happiness on Earth, and greater glory in Heaven by feeding at the Banquet of the Lamb. Just as life is better when we can attend a wonderful wedding reception or vacation – so, too, our attendance at Mass every Sunday and Holy Day is an investment in our success and leads to greater praise and glory of God, our loving Father.
This week’s Holy Day is the Assumption. It is a preview of coming attractions for us. Our Lady shows us we can trust God, and He will provide the way forward to hope and Heaven, especially amidst the business and struggles of life.
For the first three hundred and fifty years or so of the Church, believers were persecuted and martyred for their faith in Christ. Liberty didn’t begin to appear until the conversion of Constantine toward the mid fourth century. In the heat of persecution and martyrdom, Catholics were already praying to Our Lady. One of the earliest discovered prayers to Our Lady seeking her prayers for us in Heaven was discovered on a third-century sheet of papyrus found in North Africa, the site of very intense Christian persecution. We call it in Latin, the “Sub Tuum Praesidium.” Translated it reads: “We fly to Thy patronage, O Holy Mother of God. Despise not our petitions in our necessities, but ever deliver us from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.”
Our Mother the Church has known by experience since the beginnings of Christianity that Our Lady was taken up into Heaven where She intercedes for us. It is so beneficial for us to honor Our Lady and turn to her that the Church says: get to Mass and receive abundant blessings for the end of the summer and the coming school year, as you dive back into the business of life. Don’t miss this special day to celebrate and honor the love of Our Blessed Mother for you!
In Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart,
Fr. Bjorn Lundberg,