I do not know if you have been watching any of the spaceships going into space. The commercial spaceships that they have had like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. They are trying to compete to send people into space to be the first non-astronauts or non-government entities to enter space. It has caused me to think that if I could buy a ticket, I would not be able to buy a ticket, but if I could buy a ticket and go into space, would I? Please think about that real quick. If you had the possibility of going into space, would you go? How many of you would go? Raise your hand. OK, the rest of you are cowards. How many would not go into space? Raise your hand. Most of you, so we have a few brave people here. I would certainly do it. I would take the opportunity almost immediately. It all began because one person made it to space and stepped on the moon for the first time. Who was that person? Neil Armstrong. He made that famous declaration when he stepped on the moon. What was that declaration? Some of you know it. This is one small step for man and one giant step for mankind. It is interesting that before he died, he said that is not actually what he said. He said there was one different letter. He really said that there is one small step for a man (a man), one giant step for mankind. He said that he said that intentionally because it was just one person actually, so if he were to say one small step for man, it would sound like all of humanity or creation but one small step for a man, one giant step for mankind. Interestingly, after the years that have progressed, he started to believe that he did not say it because he was listening to the recordings; it did not sound like he told a man. It was not until a few years ago that somebody that was a scientist that specialized in working with people that we’re unable to communicate and he would actually allow them to communicate by computer with their nerve impulses. So, he was able to listen slowly to the actual recorded speech of Neil Armstrong, and lo and behold, he did notice because it was one-fiftieth of a millisecond, he did say a. So, one small step for a man, one giant step for mankind.
Why am I saying this? Well, who was the first woman on the moon? Does anybody know? Nobody knows. The first woman on the moon was Mary. We heard in the book of Revelation today. So, she will shine like the splendor of the sun, and the moon will be beneath her feet. So, we have this image of Mary being the first woman ever to have the moon beneath her feet. The interesting thing was that it was one woman, Mary, but because that one woman was assumed into heaven, that is possible for all of us. How many of you are willing to take the risk to go to heaven? Raise your hand. Alright. Anybody not willing the risk to go to heaven? Alright, we have a faithful community here.
Kind of the same thing happened with the Assumption. It was not until 1950; does anybody remember that? Were you alive? Raise your hand if you were alive in 1950 when they announced the Assumption. I know some of you were alive then. So, in 1950 is when they made it a dogma. This became something that Catholics must believe and must totally accept. Why did that not happen until 1950? The thing is, it was always so. The teaching in the church and the revelation of Mary being assumed into heaven was always so from the very beginning from the early church history. However, it was not brought together in one piece and one teaching until 1950, and that is when it became a dogma of the faith. A dogma is not something new in the faith. It is proclaimed in such a way that, yes, we have looked at all the evidence. We have looked at all the teachings in the church, and we can safely assume that Mary was assumed into heaven. That is what we are celebrating as the Assumption today because God made it possible for Mary. Because she is the first one to make it to the moon or heaven. It makes it possible for all of us. So, we have the opportunity to follow after Mary and actually enter into heaven.
Now Mary is also a symbol of the church. Right? So, if Mary is in heaven, where is the church? In heaven. That means whenever we come together as a church; we enter into heaven. And this is also a teaching of the early church that gathering together in church is coming together into heaven. So, you have all traveled to heaven today. You have made it. You are there. It is such a wonderful thing that we have this gift. It is such a wonderful reality of our faith that we have a woman who has made it to the moon. A woman who has made it to heaven, we celebrate this Sunday’s Assumption with the reality that we all now have tickets. We all have the possibility of going into heaven.
That is what we celebrate on this great Feast of the Assumption. As we celebrate this Mass, please do so in rejoicing and realize that we get to be in heaven, at least for this moment, especially as we receive Jesus, his Body, and Blood into us. At least for this time that we get together. We thank God for this wonderful gift and the wonderful Feast of the Assumption of Mary.