The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a feast celebrated in the Catholic Church that honors Mary, the mother of Jesus, being "assumed" into heaven — distinct from but similar to the way Jesus' Ascension is celebrated 40 days after the Resurrection. Although it can be a confusing feast day to many, the readings for the day, which include Mary's Magnificat found in Luke's gospel, call us to deepen our understanding of what it means to serve God. In his 2021 Feast of the Assumption Address, Pope Francis' words are a timeless invitation for us to emulate Mary's posture as God's humble servant:
"Mary's secret is humility. It is her humility that attracted God's gaze to her. The human eye always looks for grandeur and allows itself to be dazzled by what is flashy. Instead, God does not look at the appearance. God looks at the heart (cf 1 Sam 16:7) and is enchanted by humility. Humility of heart enchants God. Today, looking at Mary assumed into heaven, we can say that humility is the way that leads to Heaven. 1
— From the Aug. 15, 2021, Papal Angelus Address
As you consider what it means to be a humble servant of God in your own daily living, reflect on these questions adapted from Pope Francis:
- How do I balance a need for praise or affirmation in my work with a desire to serve?
- Am I conscious to listen authentically before I speak?
- How do I manage silence?
- How can I work toward humility like Mary's?