The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
1 Corinthians 15:20-27
A friend tells me that it is easy to understand the soul of Mary being taken up into heaven, but not the body. How can the Assumption of the Virgin Mary be possible? Inspired by the Transfiguration of the Lord, I reflect on the meaning of this feast day rather than finding how it could be done. The meaning of Assumption can be understood in terms of Joy and Peace, being in a right and healthy relationship.
In the Gospel, Mary sets out to find the testimony of the word of the Angel Gabriel. Her curiousness about the pregnancy of Elizabeth turns into joy at their encounter. The encounter of two ladies also reveals the encounter of two infants in their wombs, who leap for joy as they meet. And they all are blessed and at peace because they believed in God’s words and that the covenant would be fulfilled. And so, too, Mary’s words in the Magnificat emphasise that God keeps God’s covenant: God is God of people, and people are the people of God.
Jesus Christ fulfilled this covenant or relationship through his life, death, and resurrection. As St. Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians, Jesus is the first fruit or firstborn from the dead. Following Jesus, Mary is also raised from the dead, body and soul. Because of the right relationship with Jesus, Mary is always with Him. It will be the same for all of us who are living in the right relationship with God. Therefore, to be taken up into heaven like Jesus, Mary was in the right relationship with God, in Joy and Peace.
JD Tân T CP is a Vietnamese Passionist who lives and studies at the Holy Cross Retreat, Templestowe.