By Fr. David Foxen, MSC
This weekend we celebrate the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven. It is the day we commemorate how Mary, having completed her life here on earth, experienced the fullness of the resurrection, coming into the definitive union with God in the Kingdom of Heaven. The Assumption is not just a personal honor for Mary but contains the full dignity of humanity transformed by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Mary in her life showed herself to be the first disciple of her Son. Responding to the angel who announced God’s plan that the Savior come into the world through her, Mary put all the confidence of her faith in God’s will. Her faith did not come with conditions, and she lived her whole life through a faith that was authentic and complete. Some days it would not be easy. Some days it would hurt a lot.
Mary’s life is also a reflection of the Kingdom of God proclaimed by her Son and sown in the field of human society. The end of her earthly life is a sign of the harvest. Her life shows that evil cannot take away the value and dignity of those who have been tormented and wounded. Because of her relation with her Son, Mary well knew the sorrows and hard challenges just as she understood goodness and joy in her life. She shared the important events in the life of her Son, including accompanying him to Calvary and standing at the foot of the cross. We can suppose that even after experiencing the joy of the resurrection, she could not erase completely from her heart those terrible, sad memories. We know that bad memories are like a scar, even when the wound has healed. It is likely that Mary carried these scars in her heart just as the Risen Christ carried the marks of his suffering in his hands and side. At the moment of the Assumption, her wounds and the scars were transformed into signs of the victory of faith and love fully manifested in the Kingdom of God.
The Assumption shows that we too, persons of faith and love but wounded by evil and sadness, are destined to share the resurrection and the transformation which accompany it. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the definitive proclamation that the Kingdom of God is real. The Assumption of Mary confirms that evil, even including death, cannot destroy us or the Kingdom of God.