The Assumption of Mary follows the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Because of her unique role in the drama of salvation, Mary is among the “first fruits of those who have fallen asleep”. She follows Jesus who rose body and soul. Her Assumption body and soul into Heaven is a resurrection story.
Bodily life is important. The created world is important. We must care for it according to God’s plan. In her prayer, the Magnificat- the Gospel for her feast- Mary accepts her mission from God, to live in the created world of her day, accepting its limitations, its misunderstandings and its sufferings. She accepts fully the mission of her Son, the Word Made Flesh.
Mary has her mission. Her mission is to be a Mother in Heaven. What a privilege to have the Mother of God as our mother. Jesus made her our mother when he said to the disciple and to all of us: “Behold your mother”. We have a Mother in Heaven. “Heaven is open; Heaven has a heart”.
Mary praises God for her mission in the Magnificat. “My soul magnifies the Lord”, that is, she proclaims the greatness of the Lord. Mary wanted God to be great in the world, great in her life, and present among us all. That great poem, inspired by the Holy Spirit, came from Mary’s lips, indeed, from Mary’s heart. This marvelous canticle mirror’s the entire soul, the entire personality of Mary. This hymn is a portrait of Mary.
Mary is taken up into the glory of Heaven, to be with God. But she is not remote from us. Because Mary is with God, she is close to each one of us. While she lived on earth, she could only be close to a few people. Being in God and with God, Mary shares in this closeness of God. She is close to each one of us, knows our hearts, can hear our prayers, and can help us with her motherly kindness.
Sometime ago, when I returned home from the Philippines, I found myself overtired. I experienced a dizziness. Things in the room began to spin. It was unnerving, to say the least. Though the objects in the room were spinning, one object remained clear and stable. That object was the statue of Our Lady. It gave confidence and courage. Or I should say, Mary gave confidence and courage. She was close by.
Mary is not stationary in Heaven. On the contrary, she is often a missionary from Heaven. How many places and people she has visited. We just have to think of Lourdes, Fatima and Guadalupe to mention a few. Mary goes forth for her Son, to draw people to Him. Miracles, great and small, follow her. Maybe we have all been blessed with some little miracle.
At one time I was on hospice. Part of my problem had to do with breathing. Hospice gave me a breathing apparatus for emergencies. One day that emergency came. It was very difficult to breathe . A companion and I began to say the rosary. I felt it might be my last rosary. Gradually I fell asleep. When I awoke, I no longer needed the apparatus. I have not needed it since. That was almost two years ago. Since then the doctors have taken me off hospice. Needless to say, Mary has blessed me.
Our Mother in Heaven longs to have us all with her in Heaven. Mary longs to have her sons and daughters with her. Her dream is to have one family, united and at peace. That is the wish of her Son, “That all may be one”. That is her wish too. May we live to make her dream come true.
Mary precedes us on our journey of life. Thus this Feast of the Assumption of Mary body and soul into Heaven is our hope and our guide. May we be true to her as her faithful children. Then we shall, one day, live with our Mother in Heaven.