Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Because it falls on a Monday, it is not a Holy Day of Obligation in the USA. There is so much to this feast that I couldn’t possibly fit it into one short reflection. I will share with you a chapter from my book A Minute in the Church Volume II that helps explain this belief.
Assumption of Mary I
The Catholic Church teaches that Mary, “when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory.” (CCC 966) We call it the Assumption. This dogma of the Church was pronounced definitively by Pope Pius XII in 1950. Where is the evidence for this? In the liturgy for the Assumption, we read from Revelation 12 where St. John talks about the woman “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” and how she “had a place prepared by God.”
The Catechism says that “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians.” (CCC 966) In other words, Mary, as the first Christian, is rightly the first to participate in the resurrection of the body that we believe we will all participate in. This is not something that Mary did on her own. She did not ascend into heaven. She couldn’t. Rather, our loving God saw fit to reward the Mother of God “so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.” (CCC 966)
For further study:
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