This Wednesday we celebrate another Holy Day of Awesome. The feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, like every other Marian feast, points first and foremost to Christ. Each year in August we recall the day when Mary was assumed, body and soul, into heaven. The key to understanding this feast can be found in Christ’s death and resurrection. Through his passion and death the doors to salvation have been opened and through his resurrection we have gained access to heaven.
In the Nicene Creed we express our belief as we proclaim, “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come”. It is even more explicit in the Apostles’ Creed when we say, “I believe in the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting”. It is this belief in a bodily resurrection that we celebrate on the feast of the Assumption. Catholic Tradition teaches that Mary is the first among us to be raised to the glory of heaven. As is true of her so often, she leads the way as the perfect disciple of Christ, her son.
My hope is that we will come together this week, not primarily out of obligation, but because we love our Catholic faith. My hope is that we will gather this week as Christians who acknowledge our weaknesses and failures, knowing that Mary is both our model and intercessor. My hope is that our celebration will inspire us to imitate the love, humility and faithfulness that led Mary to a place in heaven with her son and that we may follow closely in her footsteps.