El 15 de Agosto de 1980, en presencia de dos padres dominicos que todavía viven, y de quienes he vivido y moriré agradecido, los reverendos Ernesto Mora y Luis F. Pardo, mientras celebrábamos la Eucaristía solemne en nuestro grupo de oración, con motivo de la fiesta de hoy, la Asunción de la Virgen María, quiso Dios llamarme por primera vez al camino del sacerdocio.
Doy público testimonio de la misericordia que me llamó y que me hizo capaz de vencer obstáculos –en especial la pobreza de mi exiguo amor a Dios– para llegar a este día y esta hora.
Desde aquí en Dublín, donde hoy por coincidencia me ha correspondido presidir la Misa Conventual, digo de corazón: ¡Gracias, Señor!, y también digo: ¡Gracias, Señora!
Este es el texto de mi homilía de hoy:
What are we celebrating? This feast has a somewhat mysterious name: the assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What do we mean by that?
Well, essentially we are celebrating the completion of the work of Christ’s grace in all the extension of Mary’s life. When we say that she was assumed “in body and soul” into heaven, we are speaking of Christ’s redemption. This is an important point, for, in fact, every feast of the Blessed Virgin in our liturgical calendar is nothing else but a way of proclaiming how good, how great, how reliable is the message of the Gospel we all believe in.
Christ’s preaching regarded both body and soul. He manifested God’s mercy and tenderness in healing so many sick people! Many experienced they were truly loved simply because their wretched bodies were cured and made whole anew by the inexhaustible power of our Lord. Nonetheless, all those who were actually healed became real signs of something even deeper, namely, the salvation. We cannot touch directly the salvation as we can touch the cured limbs of a formerly crippled person. Therefore, through visible signs our beloved Saviour led his people towards invisible but perfectly real things. The very end of his mission was the perfect reconciliation between God and man, and the bodily works he performed stood as pointing signs of this heavenly goal.
We can see, here and there, some aspects of the message of Christ at work. However, as human beings we always need clear and clearer indicators. Life is blurry many times and the road is long. To our consolation we got in Mary an outstanding sign of every dimension and part of Christ’s ministry. Her body and her soul, her heart and her mind, her words and her feelings: everything within her is a testimony of the most important thing we can learn in a lifetime, that is: what can God make for me?
The life of our Lord came to an end through the sorrowful passion and glorious resurrection. So, what else can we expect for the followers of Christ but partaking a portion of his cup of suffering, and sharing the banquet of his glorious triumph? That is what we contemplate with awe and immense gratitude in the body and soul of our Lady. She, who shared more than anyone the cup of suffering, shares now, better than anyone, the glory of his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we continue this celebration, we behold our own destination. Mary could seem distant, so well assumed in heaven. But heaven itself is our home: is the normal end of every Christian believer, of every child of God our Father.