We need reminders.
Because we’re forgetful.
We need reminders of what’s true.
We need reminders that are unmistakeable.
We need reminding that God wants us… that God loves us.
God wants to be in relationship with us. He wants that to be part of our here and now. But we have to want it too. We have to choose to return this Great Love of God.
God’s Great Love of us is active. The love of the Trinity — Father, Son, and Spirit — “an eternal exchange of love” (CCC, 221) — has this plan of sheer goodness (CCC,1) — to draw us in.
It’s a plan that means we can be in relationship now. And for eternity.
Today’s feast of the Assumption helps to remind us of this Great Love — for eternity.
The Father sent his Son Jesus to seal the deal, to keep to the promise, that we are destined for glory in heaven. That means one day, by the unfathomable mercy of God, we may live body and soul in heaven, in union with the God of Love. That’s awesome, right?
It is an awesome — as in, full of awe — goal for our lives. It’s a real inspiration for being in relationship with God now, right? Like, why wait?
But it is a long wait (in our minds) to finally get there to heaven.
And even if we are longing for heaven, there are a few things we have to face before we get there.
That’s why we need reminders about how awesome this Great Love of God really is.
We still have to face death, for corruption of the body is one of leftover effects from Original Sin. And even though Jesus rescued us from Eternal death — death is no longer a dead end, but a threshold to the afterlife for our souls — it does not diminish this promise of union with God in our totality, body and soul.
We still have to face judgment. Our love still has to be weighed and measured, face to face by the lover of our souls, Jesus.
We still have to wait for the end of the world to have that total, remarkable re-union of body and soul with Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.
That’s a lot of waiting.
In the meantime, we can begin to have this relationship with God now, thanks to the life and death and resurrection of Jesus.
And today, we have a gracious reminder — a reminder full of grace — about the future glory of heaven.
One Great Woman has already said yes to this Great Love: Mary, the Immaculate Conception.
This is why the Divine Praises of the Church mention Mary’s Glorious Assumption.
Since Mary’s humanity was perfectly blessed, perfectly pure — sinless — her response to the Father’s Great Love was perfect and immediate. Her relationship with God was so perfect that she responded to the Father as an obedient Daughter, a faith-filled Mother to the Son, and an incarnate Spouse to the Holy Spirit.
Mary’s entire life was a complete and total yes — a perfect choice — to the Great Love.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
All choices have consequences, right?
When the Father created Mary, He chose to make the future mother of his Son a sinless, perfect human person — the zenith of humanity. Since Mary knew no sin, the future consequence of this was that her body did not undergo corruption and death. Jesus brought Mary directly to heaven at the end of her life.
Mary’s obedient and Immaculate Heart always chooses the Good and the Beautiful. So her personal judgment was always in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Father’s will. In a way, her final judgment at the end of her life by God, was the same as when she was first created: she is perfect and without sin and, consequentially, bound for eternal glory.
God’s creation and redemption of Mary brought the consequence, the result, of the Assumption. Mary, taken into glory — body and soul — is “a gracious reminder”of that promise of future union with Christ — our own relationship — with God, who desired us from the very beginning.
Christ has risen from the dead, we need no further assurance of our faith. Mary assumed into heaven serves rather as a gracious reminder to the Church that our Lord wishes all whom the Father has given Him to be raised with Him. In Mary taken to glory, to union with Christ, the Church sees herself answering the invitation of the heavenly Bridegroom.
National Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Behold Your Mother” (1973)
Just as Jesus’ Risen Body, is a glorified body in heaven, one day, we too, will have glorified bodies in heaven after the Final Judgment. (See CCC, 1060.)
Mary is our gracious reminder that all Jesus has said and done is true.
Also on the Assumption:
From my archives: My favorite reading and podcasts about the Assumption.