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Solemnity of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary

My dear encountered couples:

I hope you have been among the lucky ones who have gone off somewhere on vacation this summer, or that you are even more fortunate and still have your vacation ahead of you. If so, then you know what it is like looking forward to the grand day of departure. As the countdown begins, as the last day of work or school approaches, we become more and more excited. It seems as though we receive a new spurt of energy and enthusiasm. The looking forward to going is itself just what the doctor ordered. We are inspired with dreams and imaginings of all that we hope to see and do. We are going to be free to do just what we want. We even find ourselves working better in the days before the vacation begin. For we are lifted up and already partly renewed.

For the person who really believes in heaven and can imagine the many wonders that might lie ahead, the same type of feelings can already be experienced. Just imagine! No matter what work you have ahead of you in your life on earth, no matter what unpleasant and distasteful things are being forced upon you now or will be in the future, the biggest and best vacation is always ahead of you. If you believe that, the thought itself should pep you up considerably. For the countdown has begun. Maybe you have no idea what number of days or years are included in that countdown, but it definitely has started. Nothing but the best awaits you. Imagine anything you've ever wanted to do - it is going to happen, it will even be better. For you will be living and enjoying a freedom that no one while on earth ever experiences.

Maybe some of your vacations did not turn out as well as you had hoped, maybe none of them did, but heaven I guarantee will go beyond your wildest dreams. As we think of it, we should be filled with the enthusiasm of Mary when she visited Elizabeth and spoke of the goodness of God, “My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior... He has raised the lowly to high places...The hungry he has given every good thing.”

Mary is now in heaven. She is enjoying the total and complete goodness of God. Her hunger is continually being satisfied, her spirit is constantly being filled with joy. This awaits you. Yes, it might seem to you a bit scary, for it will be a new adventure. Every trip to a new place carries with it a certain element of anxiety and nervousness. That's part of the thrill.

Today we recall and celebrate that day long ago when Mary left on her best and unending vacation. Today you are being told to look forward to yours.

The thought of it should brighten all your days on earth; it should help to enthuse you when you are at work and in school. Anticipate what is ahead. The effects of your anticipation can help you right now, moving you to more easily love the seemingly unlovable, to forgive the seemingly unforgivable, to bear all that appears unbearable.

The thought of leaving for heaven can help you be more like God this very day. For God who is mighty is already - right now - offering you a share in great things.

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