This coming Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 

So what exactly does the Assumption mean and what is its significance?

 

Well, first of all, the Assumption of Mary is the dogmatic teaching 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.[1]

Did the Blessed Virgin Mary die before she was assumed into heaven? Pope Saint John Paul II declared that:-

          “On 1st November 1950, in defining the dogma of the Assumption, Pius XII avoided using the term “resurrection” and did not take a position on the question of the Blessed Virgin’s death as a truth of faith.

          The Bull Munificentissimus Deus limits itself to affirming the elevation of Mary’s body to heavenly glory, declaring this truth a “divinely revealed dogma.”[2]

Anyway, “why should Mary die if she was free from Original Sin and its stain?

Well, “being free of Original Sin and its stain is not the same thing as being in a glorified, deathless condition.

Jesus was also free of Original Sin and its stain, but he could—and did—die.

Expressing a common view among theologians, Ludwig Ott writes:

For Mary, death, in consequence of her freedom from original sin and from personal sin, was not a consequence of punishment of sin.

However, it seems fitting that Mary’s body, which was by nature mortal, should be, in conformity with that of her Divine Son, subject to the general law of death.[3]

How can we apply this teaching to our everyday lives?

According to Pope Benedict XVI:

By contemplating Mary in heavenly glory, we understand that the earth is not the definitive homeland for us either, and that if we live with our gaze fixed on eternal goods we will one day share in this same glory and the earth will become more beautiful.

Consequently, we must not lose our serenity and peace even amid the thousands of daily difficulties. The luminous sign of Our Lady taken up into Heaven shines out even more brightly when sad shadows of suffering and violence seem to loom on the horizon.

We may be sure of it: from on high, Mary follows our footsteps with gentle concern, dispels the gloom in moments of darkness and distress, reassures us with her motherly hand.

Supported by awareness of this, let us continue confidently on our path of Christian commitment wherever Providence may lead us. Let us forge ahead in our lives under Mary’s guidance.[4]

Need I say more?

Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP

 

[1] Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, 1st November 1950 No. 44

[2] https://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/the-assumption-of-mary-12-things-to-know-and-share2

[3] Ibid.

[4] Pope Benedict XVI General Audience, August 16, 2006