‘Look in the same direction as Mary and Jesus for true love’, Cathedral priest acclaims on Feast of the Assumption
The Archdiocese of Perth joined Catholics around the world to celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. The 8am, 11am and 6pm (Vigil on 14th) Masses at St Mary’s Cathedral was dedicated to the Holy Feast on 15 August this year. Photo: Theresia Titus.
By Amanda Murthy
Perth Catholics congregated in parishes across the Archdiocese to celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary on Saturday 15 August 2020, honouring the life of Immaculate Mother of God, who, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
Although the Holy Day of Obligation this year was suspended because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Saturday daytime Masses and Friday Vigils were dedicated to the Assumption Feast.
The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, celebrated by the Catholic Church on 15 August, is a reminder to look in the same direction as Jesus and Mary and to turn our attention to the love of the Father, said St Mary’s Cathedral priest Fr Richard Rutkauskas in his homily at the 8am Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Matthew Lau.
St Mary’s Cathedral Assistant Priest Father Richard Rutkauskas celebrated the 8am Mass at the Cathedral and in his homily, he reflected on the unfailing love and faith Mary embodied throughout her earthly life.
“We cannot even begin to understand the meaning of the Feast of the Assumption, unless we reflect prayerfully on this deep love which bound Mary and Jesus together,” Fr Rutkauskas said.
“The feast is a further recognition from the Church that the Almighty has done great things for his lowly handmaiden.
“It is an expression of hope that God will continue to do great things for the rest of mankind,” he added.
The Archdiocese of Perth joined Catholics around the world to celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. The 8am, 11am and 6pm (Vigil on 14th) Masses at St Mary’s Cathedral were dedicated to the Holy Feast on 15 August this year. Photo: Matthew Lau.
In explaining the meaning of true love, a word that can often be bandied or risk the danger of being superficial and sentimental in today’s world, Fr Rutkauskas assured the congregation present that true love, which is represented by God’s love, can be found in the Scriptures.
“And prominent in that story, is a young girl from Nazareth called Mary.”
Fr Rutkauskas said it must have been a love made up of hunger and sorrow, which led Mother Mary, as the Gospel explains, to take to the road and join the crowds as they jostled for a glimpse of Jesus.
“Mary must have missed the company of her Son and she would have felt the bitter criticisms that were already being levelled against Jesus,” Fr Rutkauskas cited.
“Some were saying He was mixed up with Satan – such vicious criticisms must have appeared to her as the tip of the ‘sword of sorrow’, which Simeon had prophesied would ‘pierce the heart of Mary’.”
Reminding those present that Mother Mary accepted the true love of God when she consented to become the Mother of His Son, Fr Rutkauskas reiterated that the love shared between Mary and Jesus was a love which knew a great deal about the pain of loss.
“But it was a love which drew Mother and Son to look in the same direction,” he said.
“They were drawn constantly to gaze on the Father, since His love filled their lives.
“And did not Jesus constantly tell His disciples that He came only to do the Father’s will?” he added.
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB described the Holy Feast as a glorious day when Mother Mary entered joyfully and fully into the mystery of her son’s resurrection. Photo: Joshua Low.
In addressing that the basic belief of the Catholic faith - that human love is a faint reflection of the love of the Father - Fr Rutkauskas questioned if it should be surprising that in a world where the pain of loss is so much part of human living, that the same God who raised the body of Jesus from the dead was the same God who brought Mary in all her humanity into His presence forever.
“Today’s celebration should teach us to look in the same direction as Jesus and Mary. This Feast of Assumption should teach us to turn our attention to the love of the Father.
“When we say that God loves us, we are really saying that God the Father longs for that moment when we will be with Him forever,” he continued.
Fr Rutkauskas concluded by stating that just as Our Lady is with God forever, in all her humanity, the message of today’s feast is that “we too can share in her joy”.
“Mary, Mother of all Christians, pray for us.”