Theme: MARY WAS TAKEN UP INTO HEAVEN BODY AND SOUL
- Apocalypse (Revelation) 11:19; 12:1-6. 10;
- Psalm 44:10-12. 16. R/ v. 10;
- 1 Corinthians 15:20-26
- Luke 1:39-56
Today we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven! Mary was taken up into heaven body and soul after her life on earth! Her body did not see corruption because she was untouched by Original Sin!
The Protestants protest that Mary had to be a sinner before Jesus Christ can save her! But we Catholics believe that Jesus Christ saves us in two ways, that is, by forgiving our sins and by preserving us from sin with his grace! Mary was saved uniquely and exclusively in the second way! She was preserved from sin by the grace of God to prepare her to be the Mother of God and the Mother of the Savior of the world! The all Holy God cannot be born from a sinful womb and the Savior of all sinners cannot himself be born from a sinful womb!
Thus at the Announcement of the Birth of Jesus, the angel Gabriel greeted Mary with these words:
“Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” (Lk 1:28; CSB)
Or “Hail Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
And in today’s gospel after Mary greeted Elizabeth, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she gave a loud cry and said:
“Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. …. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Lk 1:42. 45; SM)
And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my savior; because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid. Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me.” (Lk 1:46-49; SM)
Indeed, Mary was blessed, favored and graced! Mary was preserved from Original Sin by the grace of God to prepare her to be the Mother of God and the Mother of the Savior of the world!
In fact this is the first part of the prayer “Hail Mary”:
“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.”
Only in the second part of the “Hail Mary” do we ask Mary to pray for us:
“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
We ask Mary to pray for us so that one day we will also be “taken up” or “assumed” into heaven body and soul! And that is what we did half an hour before Mass at the grotto of Mary when we said the Holy Rosary! A Blessed Assumption Day to all of you! That is, may you be blessed as Mary was blessed so that one day you will also be “taken up” or “assumed” into heaven body and soul!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.