The benefits of Mary's Assumption into heaven
"Of all women you are the most blessed" (Lk.1:42)
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a great Feast in the Catholic Church, celebrated on August 15th every year. The church teaches, "The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son's Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 974). That's the meaning of Assumption. Mary was taken into heaven body and soul.
Often times we face the question whether Assumption is in the bible. The answer is yes, for those who read the bible meticulously. But that's not the argument here because the critics of devotions to Mary will argue everything that we do to honor our great Virgin Mother. She remains the Mother of God and our mother.
Mary is the Mother of Christ. Christ is the Son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. He was incarnate of the Virgin Mary. Mary was therefore united with her Son in a special way. She was pepared for the mission of being Mother of God. She was without sin. God bestowed blessedness on Mary, for at the annunciation the Angel said, "Hail Mary full of grace. The Lord is with you" (Lk.1:28-29). It is the grace of Motherhood, the grace of being an intimate part of the salvation history of mankind that set Mary apart from sinful humanity. Of Mary, Elizabeth declared, "Of all women you are the most blessed... Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled" (Lk.1:42-45). Mary took in all the blsessedness of the Lord in humilty, gave her consent and proclaimed in the Magnificat, "Yes, from now onwards all generations shall call me blessed" (Lk.1:48). Therefore, honor to Mary has continued till this generation and will continue for ever.
The book of Song of Songs writes, "Who is she that arises like the dawn, fair as the moon, resplendent as the sun, formidable as an army" (6:10;8:5). And in the book of Revelations we read, "Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, robed with the sun standing on the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (12:1). Mary is the queen of angels, queen of saints. She was crowned by God himself to be the Mother of his Son, and the Psalmist states that God cannot allow his faithful servant to experience corruption (cf.Ps.16:10). Mary's assumption into heaven is the culmination of honor given to her by God. She who was united with Christ on earth, is now united with him in heaven. She is crowned in heaven in the company of the Saints.
What do we gain from Mary's Assumption into heaven?
- Like Elizabeth, we rejoice for the gift of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- We welcome Mary in our homes and let her share God's grace with us.
- Mary intercedes for us in the company of the Saints and Angels in heaven.
- Mary inspires us in our journey towards uniting with God on the last day.
- Mary invokes God's grace upon us her children.
- Mary unites us intimately with Christ as her adopted children.
May the Virgin Mary, Queen of the angels intercede for us, so that like the house of Zechariah and Elizabeth, our families would become abodes of God's grace through Mary. Amen.