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August 15th, Feast of the Assumption of Mary (Lady Day in Harvest)
Catholic Homilies
August 15th, 2002

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Feast of the Assumption of Mary (Lady Day in Harvest)


In the Celtic lands, mid August was harvest time. The festival of Lughnasa was the harvest celebration in honor of the God of the harvest Lugh who was responsible for the bounties of the harvest. There was singing and drinking and dancing (hence the title of Brian Friel's famous play) and story telling in gratitude for the harvest and the promise of food to eat during the winter months. In Christian times it became the festival of Mary at Harvest Time because Mary reflected the life giving, life nurturing love of God. So we thank God on this festival day for all our food and drink and his nurturing love in all its forms.

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Once upon a time the Lord God went out on patrol of heaven just to make sure that it was still a city that worked. Everything was fine, the hedges trimmed, the grass cut, the fountains clean, the gold and silver and ivory polished, the mall neat (Of course they have a mall in heaven. Where else would they put the teenagers!). He stopped by to listen to the angel choirs sing and they were in great form. Then on one of the side streets he encountered people who had no business being in heaven, at all...at all. Some of them should have been serving a long sentence in purgatory, others would not get out until the day before the Last Judgement, still others would make it into heaven only on very special appeal. So he went out to complain to St. Peter. You've let me down again, he said and yourself with the keys of the kingdom of heaven. I have not said St. Peter. Well, how did they get in? I didn't let them in. Well, who did? You won't like it. I have a right to know how they got in. Well, I turned them down and didn't they go around to the back door and didn't your mother let them in!
(Theologically this story of course is nonsense. But as a story it shows Mary's role as reflecting the maternal love of God).

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But as a story it shows Mary's role as reflecting the maternal love of God
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