“The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary”– Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and what death really means.

Reading 2  1 COR 15:20-27

Brothers and sisters:
Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since death came through man,
the resurrection of the dead came also through man.
For just as in Adam all die,
so too in Christ shall all be brought to life,
but each one in proper order:
Christ the firstfruits;
then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ;
then comes the end,
when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father,
when he has destroyed every sovereignty
and every authority and power.
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death,
for “he subjected everything under his feet.”

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He served as a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world. Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio, who would become a spiritual father to him. He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by Pope St. John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Fr. Mark Cyza – Discerning Hearts

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual DirectionJoin Bruce and I as we discuss the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the wonderful Fr. Mark Cyza.

From Pope Benedict XVI 2005 found at vatican.va:

I am also thinking of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that we recently published, in which the Word of God is applied to our lives and the reality of our lives interpreted; it helps us enter into the great “temple” of God’s Word, to learn to love it and, like Mary, to be penetrated by this Word.

Thus, life becomes luminous and we have the basic criterion with which to judge; at the same time, we receive goodness and strength.

AssumptionMary is taken up body and soul into the glory of Heaven, and with God and in God she is Queen of Heaven and earth. And is she really so remote from us?

The contrary is true. Precisely because she is with God and in God, she is very close to each one of us.

While she lived on this earth she could only be close to a few people. Being in God, who is close to us, actually, “within” all of us, Mary shares in this closeness of God. Being in God and with God, she is close to each one of us, knows our hearts, can hear our prayers, can help us with her motherly kindness and has been given to us, as the Lord said, precisely as a “mother” to whom we can turn at every moment.

She always listens to us, she is always close to us, and being Mother of the Son, participates in the power of the Son and in his goodness. We can always entrust the whole of our lives to this Mother, who is not far from any one of us.

On this feast day, let us thank the Lord for the gift of the Mother, and let us pray to Mary to help us find the right path every day. Amen.


The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – The Conquest of Death! – Discerning Hearts

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and it’s meaning for our lives and destiny.  He brings forth from the liturgy of the day the Sacred Scripture a teaching which begins with fall of man, but the redemption brought about by Jesus Christ.  And because of His Resurrection, death has no power over us.  He explains this by sharing the death of his own sister and the prayer of his mother.  Msgr. Esseff explains Mary sinlessness as the Immaculate Conception and the purpose of the Assumption.  He discusses Chap. 12 of the Book of Revelation, as well as Our Lady of Guadalupe and Fatima and the message for us today.  Msgr. Esseff talks about our struggles with death, not only our own, but also those of our loved ones.  How we hold on sometimes to tightly to those we should let go to the Father, because of our own fears and desires…and possibly our selfishness.  We need to remember  the joys of Eternal Life and the role of Mary, our Mother, who helps us with the transition.  Be not afraid!