Today we celebrate a path that we’re all called to walk: from here to Heaven. We celebrate Mary’s assumption, body and soul, into Heaven after her time upon this world. Mary received the grace to be body and soul in Heaven along with her son. The other just souls that have preceded us are in Heaven, but they’re separated from their bodies until the Last Day when Our Lord raises everyone from the dead in the Last Judgment. Some Old Testament figures may have received this grace as well (such as Elijah and Enoch), but we know for certain that Mary and Jesus are in Heaven, body and soul. As the Second Reading reminds us, Jesus ascended, body and soul, to take his place at the right hand of the Father and intercede for us. Upon taking his place in Heaven he received the reward for accomplishing his mission on earth and made it possible for us to arrive there one day as well.
Why did Mary receive this grace as well? Sometimes we can think that she merited special treatment (the Immaculate Conception, the vocation to be the Mother of God, etc.) for no other reason than the goodness of God and the fact of being his mother. It’s important to remember that not everything was easy for Mary. God’s gifts are meant to help each one of us to fulfill our role in the work of redemption, either by strengthening us or by giving us an opportunity to bear spiritual fruit. Mary received special gifts that make us praise God for her, but hidden ones as well. After accepting the invitation to be the Mother of God she gave birth to Jesus in a cave, she had to flee to Egypt, she had to spend thirty years in Nazareth before his public ministry, all the way to seeing her son dead on the cross and buried in the tomb.
Contemplating the assumption of Mary into Heaven reminds us that suffering and trials are also gifts from God, and what awaits us if we accept suffering and trials with patience and faith, desiring to help Our Lord accomplish the work of redemption. Let’s pray today that Mary help us make the journey to Heaven and one day shine their alongside her and her Son.
Readings: Revelation 11:19a, 12:1–6a, 10ab; Psalm 45:10–12, 16; 1 Corinthians 15:20–27; Luke 1:39–56.