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Model of the Little Ones

The Gospel passage for the Feast of the Assumption follows Monday's Gospel passage from the Gospel of St. Matthew in which Jesus taught the disciples that they had to become like little children, placing the needs of others before their own. Today, St. Luke illustrates that notion with the very familiar "Magnificat" of Mary, another example of humility. Indeed, Mary is the model "Little One."

The dogma of the Assumption was published on November 1, 1950, by Pope Pius XII. However, Catholic and patristic writers show us that the faithful have placed their faith in the Assumption of Mary as early as the 3rd and 4th centuries. The first of the Church Fathers to write about it was St. Gregory of Tours.

The use of St. Luke's account of Mary's hymn of praise reinforces the notion that God will oversee the reversal of fortunes in the heavenly realm. God will scatter the proud and lift up the lowly, feed the hungry and send the well-fed away empty. Those who thought themselves mighty shall see the "little ones" placed at the head of the line. Though this theme will echo resoundingly throughout the Gospel of St. Luke, it is part of all of the Gospels.

The dogma of the Assumption reinforces for us the notion of our own destiny. Just as Mary was assumed into heaven body and soul, we too will one day rise from the dead. Body and soul will once again be joined together in God's realm. Humility will be rewarded with eternal happiness. However, for those of us who suffer from chronic illness and or disability, it is also a guarantee that our bodily pain is one of the things that God will reverse. We add to Mary's song by proclaiming, "He heals the broken bodies of the little ones and afflicts the vainly strong ones."

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