One of our distinguishing characteristics as Catholics, besides our devotion to the Eucharist, is our devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a devotion that has been subject to both praise and dispraise. And yet, it remains one of the crowning jewels of true Catholicism. While many of the criticisms leveled against Catholics as a result of this devotion focus on the perceived excessive devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the true raison d’être for the devotion is the recognition that she who was appointed and distinguished by God to play a special role in the history of salvation deserves the honor relative to her unique vocation. What this devotion does, in fact, is that it helps in advancing the divine purpose and mandate in recognizing and honoring Mary as the Mother of God and the Mother of the Redeemer. In the solemnity of the Assumption, we celebrate the continuation of that privilege which started in her Immaculate Conception, by which God preserved her from the stains of original sin. The angel Gabriel, at the Annunciation, would recognize this extra-ordinary favor by which Mary is “Blessed among women”. Over the centuries, Mary’s blessedness has become cause for unending honor since, as she herself acknowledged in the Magnificent: “All generations shall call me blessed because of what the Almighty has done for me”. Every Marian feast reminds us of at least three things: 1. That Mary’s obedience to God is something to be celebrated, as a significant moment in the history of salvation, 2. That Mary is not a distraction from God, but a true and powerful vessel through whom glory is brought back to God, 3. That when we fail to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary as God Himself was the first to do, we miss one of the greatest opportunities we have as Christians to gain grace from God through her ceaseless and unfailing intercessions. May today’s celebration therefore serve as a reminder for us to renew our devotion and honor to her whose ‘Yes’ brought us salvation. Mary, help of Christians, pray for us. Amen.