Filed under: Mary
This is the 2nd of two reflections on the Assumption of Mary. (The first was entitled Revelation 11, the Assumption & Unborn Jesus.)
It has often been said that there is no biblical basis for belief in the Assumption of Mary into heaven. Not withstanding the Old Testament accounts of Enoch (Gen 5:24, Heb 11:5) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:9-12) being taken up into heaven, and the tradition of Moses also being assumed into heaven (Deut 34:5-6), there is Revelations 12 which is a stunning presentation of a fait accompli; Mary was assumed – and here she is! (Rev 12 has many parts to it: Mary is pregnant, she delivers, she flees into the wilderness and “was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent…”)
The Assumption of Mary into heaven is a living testament to the Resurrection of Jesus and our resurrections into heaven. Because Mary is the first Christian, God deigned to demonstrate her resurrection in a unique manner (by virtue of the death and resurrection of her only Son). Just as Christ came into the world – to His Mother – in a singular fashion, so God has deigned that Mary should go to heaven – to her Son – in a singular manner.
St. Peter says: “…we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…” (I Pet 1:3-4) Mary has embraced this glorious reality through her assumption into heaven. Who better to manifest this undefiled inheritance for all of us who journey forward, than Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ, and by extension in all truth, Mother of His (Mystical) Body (the Church) also.
The Christian life is a journey. A journey from this earth of trials to heaven and glory! Lest we get discouraged, God has given us many signs of hope for our journey. One of these hopeful signs is Mary our Mother following after her only Son, close to Him, just as she was on earth.
Vatican II spoke of Christ our Lord going before us: “He blazed a trail, and if we follow it, life and death are made holy and take on a new meaning.” (Gaudium et Spes, #22). Mary followed Christ’s trail, following His signs, and leaving some of her own as well – a Mother’s prerogative – an extra effort on her part to ensure that none of her Christian children get lost along the way. In heaven Christ is waiting, arms outstretched, and nearby His Mother waits too, pointing the way to the Savior of the World. “Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein!” (Rev 12:12)
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