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Message from a Pastor: Father Barry Stechschulte

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Twenty-two years ago, as I lie in intensive care in a hospital in Rome after brain surgery, I didn’t know who I was. Because of the swelling during surgery, I was without a thought or memory in my mind, and unable to speak; like an infant child. Then a woman entered wearing hospital scrubs. I didn’t know who she was. She smiled at me and with eyes full of love said to me, “Barry, it’s me, your mother.” A wave of emotion came over me and tears streamed from my eyes. I know who I am, am her son.

We find out who we are by our relationship to our mother. It’s the same with Jesus. We know who He is by His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Jesus is of two natures, human and divine, under one person, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Therefore, Mary is the Mother of God. In defining Mary as God’s Mother, we keep Jesus as truly divine, and thereby, the true Savior of the world. If Mary were only the mother of the humanity of Christ, He would not be able to be the Savior of us all, for only God can pay back the infinite debt of original sin.

When we speak of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother, which we celebrate every August 15th with a special Holy Day of Obligation, we’re talking about the sinlessness of Mary, as she is the Mother of the Sinless One. Being born without sin, she therefore did not suffer the corruption of the flesh due to sin. Because she was preserved from sin from the moment of her conception by the preemptive merit of her Son’s saving sacrifice on the Cross, she would be taken up into heaven, body and soul, and would not go through the separation of body and soul that we all have to go through when we die.

In our Blessed Mother Mary, we too find out who we are. We are sons and daughters of the Most High God. We are made for heaven. And we will one day be reunited body and soul to live forever in the glory of the new heaven and the new earth, coheirs with Christ, with Mary and all the angels and saint. The challenge then is to live this identity during our earthly pilgrimage. This our lasting happiness. This is our happiness here on earth.

On August 15th, please come to church to honor our Blessed Mother, assumed in heaven, and ask for the strength to live who you are, so that we all come to our destiny, body and soul, in heaven.

Father Barry Stechschulte is the pastor of St. Patrick, Bellefontaine & Holy Rosary, St. Marys

For Mass times for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother, click here

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