DAILY MASS READINGS (August 14, 2019)

SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY [VIGIL MASS] (CYCLE C, White/Blue)

Reading 1 (1 CHRONICLES 15:3-4, 15-16; 16:1-2)

A reading from the 1st Book of Chronicles

David assembled all Israel in Jerusalem to bring the ark of the LORD
to the place which he had prepared for it.
David also called together the sons of Aaron and the Levites.

The Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders with poles,
as Moses had ordained according to the word of the LORD.

David commanded the chiefs of the Levites
to appoint their kinsmen as chanters,
to play on musical instruments, harps, lyres, and cymbals,
to make a loud sound of rejoicing.

They brought in the ark of God and set it within the tent
which David had pitched for it.
Then they offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings to God.
When David had finished offering up the burnt offerings and peace offerings,
he blessed the people in the name of the LORD.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 132:6-7, 9-10, 13-14)

R.(8) Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.
Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah;
we found it in the fields of Jaar.
Let us enter his dwelling,
let us worship at his footstool.
R. Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.
May your priests be clothed with justice;
let your faithful ones shout merrily for joy.
For the sake of David your servant,
reject not the plea of your anointed.
R. Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.
For the LORD has chosen Zion;
he prefers her for his dwelling.
“Zion is my resting place forever;
in her will I dwell, for I prefer her.”
R. Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.

Reading 2 (1 CORINTHIANS 15:54B-57)

A reading from the 1st Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters:
When that which is mortal clothes itself with immortality,
then the word that is written shall come about:

Death is swallowed up in victory.
Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?

The sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

– The word of the Lord.

Alleluia (LUKE 11:28)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who hear the word of God
and observe it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (LUKE 11:27-28)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

While Jesus was speaking,
a woman from the crowd called out and said to him,
“Blessed is the womb that carried you
and the breasts at which you nursed.”
He replied,
“Rather, blessed are those
who hear the word of God and observe it.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The Vigil of the Solemnity of the Assumption invites us to reflect on the blessedness of the Virgin Mary and how that grace assured that she would be taken up to heaven body and soul by the power of God. The Gospel Reading is one of the shortest passages read in the Liturgical Year. But its significance speaks that of the role of the the Virgin Mary as the Mother of the Church. When Jesus was preaching to the crowds, a woman called out how blessed is the woman who carried and nursed him. Then the Lord replied by assuring those who hear the word of God and observe it are blessed indeed. Christ implies those who do listen to his message and obey his will are part of that large family. He also emphasizes the role of his Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, echoing what his aunt Elizabeth spoken about her who believed that God’s word would be fulfilled in her. The First Reading narrates the victory of Israel in attaining Jerusalem as its capital. As a symbol of victory, the Levites carried the Ark of the Covenant to a tent that had been pitched. King David and his men rejoiced in this successful achievement, so they had a feast along with music and dancing. Later on King Solomon, David’s son, will build a magnificent Temple for the Ark to dwell in. The Ark of the Covenant carries the Torah that the Lord has given to Moses on Mount Sinai. In the same way, the image pictures the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant wherein she is the Mother of the Savior who is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. Mary is also addressed as the Vessel of honor and Singular Vessel of devotion because she intercedes for us before her Son, who is our Mediator to God the Father. That is why when she heard the Archangel Gabriel announced to her the Incarnation, she accepted God’s message faithfully, humbly, and obediently. And all throughout her life, she manifested how important it is to obey the divine will, even as the point of standing at the foot of the Cross where our Lord was hung up for the world to behold. Because of her faithfulness towards the end of her earthly life, God could not allow her body to undergo corruption. That is why we believe she has assumed into heaven body and soul. The Church does not specify whether she underwent Death or Dormition (deep sleep), but she firmly teaches the Assumption as the 4th Marian Dogma of our Catholic faith. The Second Reading is a reminder for us to believe in the power of the Resurrection, which is the core of our spiritual life. St. Paul sings to Death, asking for its victory and sting. Because when we die, it doesn’t all end there. Rather, we truly hope in the afterlife, wherein we all want to go to Heaven and not Hell. That is why while we are living in this earthly world, let us strive to be good Christians to one another as God’s adopted children. May we follow the example of our Blessed Mother in submitting ourselves to his divine will with faith, humility, and obedience.

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