Dear brothers and sisters, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
The Dogma of Assumption
The Church teaches that “when the course of her earthly life was finished, Immaculate Virgin Mary was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death” (CCC 966). This dogmatic teaching of the Church was defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950, in the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus.
The Solemnity of Assumption is one of the “Glories of Mary,” as St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote in his discourses that explain the feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to him, God, wishing Mary in all things to be like Jesus, required that as the Son had died, the mother should also die. He wishes to give the righteous an example of the blessed death prepared for them and decreed that the Blessed Virgin should die a sweet and happy death (Glories of Mary, Discourse VII). The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a singular participation of Mary in the resurrection of her Son, Jesus Christ, and an anticipation of our resurrection as Christians and Children of God (CCC 966). This honor bestowed on Mary does not set her apart from ordinary people like us. Instead, it makes us look up to her and aspire to emulate her in her virtues and holiness.
The Extolled Virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Solemnity of Assumption could be viewed from the perspective of extolling the Blessed Mother’s virtues and blessedness. The Gospel reading narrates the story of the visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth, the Visitation Mystery. In this act of visitation, one can feel and discern Blessed Virgin Mary’s simplicity, kindness, humility, and generosity toward Elizabeth, her cousin. Even though she received the message of being the mother of the Savior, she was not prideful. Elizabeth exclaimed: “How does this happen to me, that that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Blessed Virgin Mary manifested her faith in God and gave her fiat that shows unqualified obedience to God’s will. Elizabeth acclaimed Mary for her unique manifestation of faith in God and obedience to God’s will. She said, “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Lk. 1:45). We are called to imitate Mary in her simplicity, humility, faith, and docility to the will of God. We are called to follow in her footsteps, be kind to people, especially those in need of help, and be generous even with our time. These virtues, when cultivated, can grant us blessings, and make us blessed.
We Shall Share in Mary’s Glory
One of the significances of the Solemnity of Assumption is that Mary participates in Jesus Christ her Son’s resurrection through Assumption. This makes us anticipate our resurrection as Christians (CCC 966) and, together with Blessed Virgin Mary, share the glory of the resurrection of Christ in the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus is the conqueror of sin and death. He would destroy death that came through one man, Adam. St. Paul tells us in the second reading, “for just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life” (1 Cor. 15:22). Jesus Christ is the resurrection of the dead, and we shall share in the resurrection because we belong to Him through our adoption and profession of faith.
Always remember that Jesus loves you!