BONUS HOMILY: More Than Our Happily-Ever-After

Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted weekly at Leaven in the World prior to a given Sunday. To see the archive of all his posts, just click hereSalesian Sermons

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Mass During the Day) | August 15, 2014

This homily was written for a Mass at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, a Catholic high school in Philadelphia, PA.

PROTIP: Before reading on, be sure to take a look at the readings here. This homily focuses on the first and Gospel readings.

Everyone wants their happily ever after.

Think about it.   Think about all of the childhood stories that we watched, the Disney classics.

Sleeping Beauty

Snow White


They all ended the same, with the couple riding off into the sunset, dressed to perfection to begin life in their never-ending paradise.

And in some ways, today’s feast can have a similar feel.  Here we are celebrating Mary’s happily ever after, her entrance into heaven.  And though she may not have had a carriage, being assumed into heaven arrayed in gold sounds pretty good.

But there is a danger in focusing exclusively on the “happily ever after”.

The danger is that we can be so focused on the end that nothing else matters.

Everything that comes before is only a distraction.

Who we are prior to the happily ever after is somewhat irrelevant.

I mean, think back to those Disney stories.  Did we ever really get to understand the prince?  Did we learn about his past or the things that he cared about?

Nope.  As long as he was handsome and  could save his princess, then that was all that mattered.

The couple had no history.  They didn’t know each other.  They didn’t learn from each other.  They didn’t make mistakes.

It’s as if they didn’t matter.   Only the happily ever after did.

Which is why I find the readings for today so interesting.  For I believe that the Church sees the danger in the happily ever after.  And so they choose to recount part of Mary’s story.

They recount the blessings and the hardships that she encountered.  They recount the people that she shared the journey with.

As if to remind us all that who we are, who we become, who we share the journey with and how we get there are just as important as reaching our happily ever after.

Here you are at the beginning of your sophomore year.

And I can think of no lesson that is more appropriate.  For you all are seeking your only happily ever after, the fulfillment of your own dreams.

But who you are and who you become this year matters.

The decisions you make this year matter.

The people you choose to surround yourself with matter.

For it is only through the journey that you will reach your happily ever after, that you will reach your dreams.

In every word you say, in every action you take, in every consequence you accept, in every success you celebrate, in every hardship you overcome, in every mistake you learn from, may you model your lives on the one who is the source of each of our happily ever afters.

Live like Jesus my friends.  Be Christ to one another.

May God be Praised.

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