With his characteristic eloquence and brilliance, Fulton J. Sheen presents a moving portrayal of the Blessed Virgin Mary that combines deep spirituality with history, philosophy an... Read more
Photo: Francesco Granacci, c. 1515
Resurrection is For Real
The Fourth Glorious Mystery: The Assumption
by Fr. Chris Alar, MIC
Nineteenth of a 20-part series on the Mysteries of the Rosary. Next week: The Coronation.
... [T]he woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where, far from the serpent, she was taken care of for a year, two years, and a half-year. — Revelation 12:13-14
[T]he Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. — Venerable Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus
What does the Assumption mean to me? Hope! No question, without a doubt! In the Assumption, all of Mary is taken into the fullness of love — the life of the Trinity. This means that she's now completely united to God, which means she's here with us. Even though she's in heaven, she's here with us, because God's here with us and she's united to God. That's important because she's followed the pattern of her Son: she triumphed over death. And that's what's so beautiful — "to Jesus through Mary." Mary followed Jesus, and if we follow Mary, she will lead us to Him.
Mary's Assumption gives me hope that our life will end in something greater. In this life, our bodies decay. We have sickness. We have sufferings. But when the body and the soul are resurrected and united, that's all gone. Everything we are striving for in life ends in the hope of being resurrected, and Mary's Assumption should serve as proof for us that our hope is not in vain. If I want to accomplish a certain task, I always turn to someone who's accomplished that task in the past. Mary is a living example that resurrection is real and that it will happen if we follow her Son. She has been given the privilege of fullness of life with the Trinity through the Assumption of her body and soul into heaven. This is our hope.
The fruit of this mystery is the grace of a happy death, which is so powerful because that's ultimately what we strive for in life: to be happily united with God. Mary is pointing the way for us. In the Assumption, we're celebrating the glorification of our Mother. She's gone before us to show us the way. That's the beautiful part: she's a symbol for us of the resurrection of the body. This is what we look forward to in the Creed. We see right in the Creed, "I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come." Mary's paving the way for us, if you will.
In our meditation, we should realize how beautiful and important the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is. We Marians take our vows on Aug. 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, and it's a holy day of obligation, by which the Church says how important Mary's Assumption is. The Church made the Assumption a dogma, which should tell us that we need to believe it and should adopt it into our prayer life and our whole being. In other words, this isn't just a casual aspect of theology. This is one of the core pieces of our faith.
Let's ask our heavenly Mother to obtain for us the grace we need to believe in our resurrection even when it's most difficult. Let's ask Our Lady to pray that our hope never gives way to despair, and that we and all our loved ones will be together again with God in glory.
1. The Annunciation
2. The Visitation
3. The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus
4. The Presentation in the Temple
5. The Finding in the Temple
1. The Baptism of Jesus
2. The Wedding at Cana
3. The Proclamation of the Gospel
4. The Transfiguration
5. The Institution of the Eucharist
1. The Agony in the Garden
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
3. The Crowning with Thorns
4. The Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord Jesus
1. The Resurrection
2. The Ascension
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
4. The Assumption
5. The Coronation