Today, August 15, 2008 is the feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. The Gospel reading however is from the Visitation (Lk 1:39-56). We are reminded during this reading of Unborn John’s famous leap for joy at the coming of His Savior Jesus Christ. When Mary first conceived Christ, is it not likely that her soul leapt for joy too? This being the case, can we not see in the Assumption of Mary her extraordinary leap of joy into the Heavenly Presence of her Savior?
The second reading tells us that Christ is “the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (I Cor 15:20). It then goes on to say that in Christ all shall “be brought to life, but each one in proper order”. Mary is first in line for glory, after Christ! No, this is not Mary’s line per se, it is the line formed by Christ the first born from the dead (Col 1:18). But it is the Church’s line, the line for all the members of the Church redeemed by Christ their Savior – and Mary is the first in this line! Just as she was first to receive Christ the Savior into her heart (and in her case uniquely into her womb), so she is first to taste the fullness of redemption!
She was humanity’s representative, waiting faithfully in Nazareth for the Messiah, every day offering God Most High her invitation to send the long-awaited Messiah to Israel, and even to tiny humble Nazareth if it pleased the Most High. When Gabriel appeared to her she said Yes; “…let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). And so too, now at the close of this definitive chapter of salvation history, after saying “Yes” to God all her life, she again says, so to speak, “let it be to me according to your word” – and she is then taken up into heaven. Even Sacred scripture mystically commemorates this event as recorded by John the Evangelist in Revelation 12 (today’s first reading).
The line to Heaven is made up of those who say “yes” to God.
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