“All-powerful and ever-living God: You raised the sinless Virgin Mary, mother of your Son, body and soul, to the glory of heaven. May we see heaven as our final goal and come to share her glory.” ~ Prayer on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Today is the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In his Apostolic Constitution on November 1, 1950, Pius XII stated “that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” He wrote that this had been held by the Church throughout the ages and he was formally declaring it as an infallible teaching.
The teaching should not confuse us or cause consternation. It was defined after ages of general belief and it flows from another of the Church’s beliefs: that, at the moment of her conception, Mary had been preserved from the stain of original sin. The consequence of original sin was corruption of the body. Since Mary was free from original sin, her body would not undergo corruption.
The teaching should, instead, give us great hope. God, the all-powerful creator, deigns to love us incredibly. God rescued us from sin and death through His Son, Jesus Christ, and God, throughout the ages, has given us examples of great virtue so that we could follow Him more faithfully.
Who could be a better example of virtue and humility that Mary? Asked to be the mother of the savior, Mary was courageous enough to say yes. That “yes” had ramifications. She would undergo great suffering as she saw her Son suffer and die. Yet she stood by Him from the very beginning and, therefore, it was most fitting that He would stand by her at the end of her days on earth.
God has something special in store for each and every one of us. We should not be frightened. Rather, we should look forward to that day with incredible hope and joy.
FAITH ACTION: Reflect upon the promise of resurrection for God’s people and take time to thank God for His most faithful love for us.