Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Luke 1: 39-56
Rv 11:19; 12:1-6.10 / Ps 45 / 1 Cor 15:20-26

Blessed is she who trusted that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled.
(Luke 1:45)

My soul proclaims the Lord’s greatness,
In God my spirit rejoices;
He looks upon my lowliness,
And fills my life with His graces.

Mary hastened to a town in the hill country of Judea, to Zechariah’s home to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Upon hearing Mary’s greeting, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.” Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

Reflection

Today, Catholics all over the world celebrate the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For hundreds of years the Catholic Church never doubted that Mary’s physical body was taken to Heaven after her death — but it was only in 1950 when the Church finally proclaimed this teaching a dogma of the Church, an essential belief of every Catholic. On May 1, 1946, Pope Pius XII sought a concensus from all the bishops in the world regarding their belief in the assumption of Mary — whether it should be accepted as a doctrine of faith. Almost all the bishops agreed as one body. On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared as a dogma revealed by God that “Mary, the immaculate perpetually Virgin Mother of God, after the completion of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into the glory of Heaven” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Chapter 3, ¶6)

Alhough there is no mention of Mary’s Assumption in the bible, it was universally assumed and believed by the early Church that God would never allow His Mother to undergo corruption. In 451 AD, St. Juvenal, the Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon, declared that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, and that her tomb, when opened upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty. From then on, the Apostles concluded that her body was taken up to heaven.

The obervance of the feast of the Assumption is highly significant to us who are children of Mary because we believe that someday, through God’s grace, we will also join our Blessed Mother in the final resurrection when our souls are reunited to our glorified bodies. Then we will also exult, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”

Lord Jesus, as we observe this blessed day to honor Your dear Mother’s Assumption into heaven, help us to focus on Your kingdom as our final destination, so that we may constantly hold on to the hope of one day sharing in her glory. Amen.

2 Responses to “Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary”

  1. Scarlett  on August 19th, 2007

    hi i enjoyed the read

  2. Momong  on August 19th, 2007

    Thank you, Scarlett. I hope you can share this site with your other friends. Feel free to share with us your views anytime. God bless.