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The Assumption of Mary ~ Clothed in Immortality

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“With good reason, thanksgiving and the voice of praise resound today throughout the courts of heaven. Let us not complain for here we do not have a lasting city. But we seek one that is to come, the same which the Blessed Mary entered today.” ~ Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Today we celebrate the end of Our Lady’s earthly life and the assumption of her body and soul into heaven. The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary reminds us of the precious gifts God has given us, both in heaven and right here on earth. Although the dogma of the Assumption was only definitively proclaimed in 1950, this belief has been upheld by the Church as early as the fifth century. We know that the Virgin Mary, at the end of her earthly life, was taken up into heaven by the power of God, because this account has been handed down to us by the Apostles and their successors.

Mary’s presence in the Kingdom of Heaven is confirmed by virtue of the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation: "A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head."

Our Gospel Passage today (Luke 11:27-28) might at first appear to be irrelevant as it relates to the Assumption of Mary. This brief but poignant verse unfolds as follows:

While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed..” He replied, "Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it."

This generous promise from Jesus is meant to assure us that just as Mary is blessed, so too are we, for we are destined to share in her eternal fate. Made anew, body and soul, to live eternally in our perfected bodies, glorifying God in paradise, the Kingdom that will have no end. As Pope Francis points out “Mary’s Assumption shows us our own destiny as God’s adoptive children and members of the body of Christ. Like Mary our Mother, we are called to share fully in the Lord’s victory over sin and death, and to reign with him in his eternal Kingdom. This is our vocation.”

As we contemplate our Blessed Mother’s Heavenly Assumption, may we pray with great fervor to emulate her, open to and cooperative in God's plan of salvation. For in choosing the path that she chose, the Gates of Heaven will indeed be made open to us as well.

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“.....from this day all generations will call me blessed.” (Luke 1:48)

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