BRIDGEPORT– “So perhaps today on the Solemnity of the Assumption, we can ask ourselves this question, ‘If I were to die today, what is it that I would bring before the judgement seat of God,” the Bishop asked in his online Mass.
The Bishop said Mary’s death and the Assumption give us hope in the resurrection and that our sins can be forgiven.
The Mass began with the sound of The Lourdes Hymn, “Immaculate Mary your praises we sing, you reign now in heaven with Jesus our King, Ave, Ave, Ave Maria” filling the tiny Catholic Center chapel.
In his homily the bishop celebrated the Blessed Mother’s Assumption into Heaven at the end of her earthly life by reflecting on the account of Mary’s visitation with Elizabeth, (Luke 1:39-56) 41” When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,42 cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
The bishop said Elizabeth was an older woman who could easily have died in childbirth, and Mary, though pregnant herself, responded to Elizabeth’s frailty and came to help her.
The bishop said that Mary was “singularly graced by God,” but fully human. However, unlike us, the Blessed Mother was free of sin because she always put God and others first in her life.
“What distinguishes us from Mary is her sinlessness. In her humanity throughout her life, she cooperated with these graces and made the free choice always to remain in the life of God. She did that by placing God first in the center of all she did,” he said, setting an example for us..
“She walked in his presence. She was the new Eve that brought the savior into the world, following in his footsteps and remaining sinless her entire life.”
He said we honor Mary and ask for her help “because you and I are in a different place. We are all sinners. We’ve all been disfigured by the sins of our past. Even though we have repented, the damage has been done to our neighbors, friends, the world and to ourselves.”
As a result our experience, many of us fear the unknown and the judgement that awaits us at the end of our lives, but we can ask for forgiveness and learn to live with hope, the bishop said.
“It’s never too late for you and I to put clear in our minds the purpose of our life is to get to heaven and to be with Our Lady and our Lord, to live lives that are self-blessed and find the joy Our Lady speaks of because we put God and our neighbor first.”
The bishop said while most people are not guilty of extraordinary mortal sins, every day and in a thousand different decisions, we are challenged by the need to put God and our neighbor first.
Our goal should be to “mold our live in the image of Jesus and walk in the footsteps of Our Lady,” the bishop said.
“We do not know the day or hour of our own death, but we can ask forgiveness for our sins, and we can go into that mystery with ever greater confidence that God’s love will see us, his mercy forgive us,” and like Mary we will one day we will be able to take our place in heaven.
Lyndy Toole, who provided the music and song for the Mass, sang “Hail Holy Queen” as the recessional after the bishop led the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.
Rosary for Healing and Peace: From now until Labor Day on Sundays and Tuesday at 7:30 pm, the Leadership Institute will continue to implore Our Lady to bring us healing and peace. Young people will lead the prayers on Tuesdays and adults will lead on Sunday evenings. To join, visit: https://formationreimagined.org/summer-sunday-rosary/
BISHOP’S ONLINE MASS: The Bishop’s Sunday Mass is released online every Sunday morning at 8 a.m. and available for replay throughout the day. To view the Bishop’s Sunday Mass, recorded and published weekly, click this link or visit the YouTube Mass Playlist.