Of all the religions of the world, none insists on the dignity of the human person more than Christianity. We believe that we are created in the image and likeness of God. Not only that, Christianity takes it a stage further and says that every baptized person is also a beloved child of God the Father, a temple of the Holy Spirit and co-heir of Christ. Christians hold that this amazing inheritance as sons and daughters of God is enjoyed by us already in the present but that its full benefits will be enjoyed in a future preserved for us by God.
Thus, when we look at the dogma of the Assumption, it becomes clear: “Because of this great love and her faith in Jesus, Mary’s life and destiny were united to His. As she shared in his life and suffering on earth, so she shared in his glory in heaven that he won for her and for all. Mary’s Assumption means that at the end of her earthly life, by the power of her Son’s resurrection, she was fully united to God in the totality of her existence, body and soul. In her we see a woman of faith who has reached the destiny promised her by God where her whole existence is radiant with God’s light in the glory of heaven. In Mary we see the great plan of the Father fulfilled where Christ was raised from the dead and would be joined in that new life by all who believe in him. As St Paul teaches, this coming to new life in Christ would take place ‘all in their proper order…Christ the first-fruits and next, at his coming, all who belong to him’ (1 Cor. 15:23-24). From ‘all who belong to him’ Mary holds first place as the first disciple and mother of the Lord. So it is fitting that she should be the first to share fully in the resurrection of her Son in body and soul.” (Fr Billy Swan)
This is a sign of hope for all humanity. At Vatican II, the teaching on Mary found itself within the Constitution on the Church, emphasizing that she is one of the Church and a type of the Church. This means that we look to her in hope for our future destiny in God and with God. Where she has gone, we hope to follow. Her present is tied to our future. In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: ‘In the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity…the Church is awaited by the one she venerates as Mother of her Lord and as her own mother’ (CCC 972).
On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII issued Munificentissimus Deus, an Apostolic Constitution, which officially proclaimed the Assumption as a Dogma:
“By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a revealed dogma that the Immaculate Mother of God ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”
In St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 6 he tells us: “Draw your strength from the mighty power of the Lord, put on the armor of God by holding the truth of the Faith as shield, clothe ourselves with righteousness as our breastplate, stay grounded with readiness for the gospel of peace, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
This Solemnity of Mary’s Assumption cries out to us – draw you strength from Jesus and be like His disciple Mary, filled with faith and confidence in God’s love.
Here is your future and your fulfillment. Never take your eyes off your destiny.
God bless, Fr. Dennis