Reflection for the Assumption of Our Lady, week beginning 15 August 2021.
The Assumption, this Sunday’s great feast, points to Our Blessed Lady being ASSUMED into heaven, body and soul.
For us, to grasp the grandeur and greatness of this feast, we must link it to the Immaculate Conception (December 8th). (The Divine Praises at Benediction have consecutive lines: ‘Blessed be her Immaculate Conception’ and ‘Blessed be her Glorious Assumption’). She was conceived immaculate (free from the mark of Original Sin, passed down from Adam & Eve). She is the only human being to have been so graced by God – so she is the highest honour of our race. Death was scarcely called for in her case. She was conceived sinless and remained sinless throughout her life. Tradition tells us, that for 12 years, she remained on earth after the return of Jesus to heaven. She left the earth from a physical sleep – the site is marked in the Holy Land by the Dormition Abbey.
In our times, graveyard memorials refer to death as “a falling asleep”. This expression is not helpful for us at all in understanding the Assumption – for Our Blessed Lady was taken up, body and soul, from a physical sleep.
It is also far from helpful or correct to say that because Jesus died, his mother must have died too. Jesus’ death was utterly unique – he had to undergo death, the death of all deaths, for our salvation and redemption.
LET US ALL REJOICE THEREFORE IN THE UTTER UNIQUENESS OF THIS SUNDAY’S FEAST!