A blessed and joyous solemnity of the Assumption to one and all, a day commemorating the taking up of the Virgin Mary, body and soul, into heaven at the end of her earthly journey. As Pius XII declared in his 1950 Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus, in which this perennial truth was solemnly defined:
by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory
The resurrection of the body is a real and vivid truth, that we will enjoy beatitude in these very bodies, transformed somehow spiritually, so they can bear the ‘weight’ the glory of God in eternity. Pope Pius XII quotes an ancient author:
Being the most glorious Mother of Christ our saviour and our God, the giver of life and immortality, she is given life by him and shares bodily incorruptibility for all eternity with him who raised her from the grave and drew her up to him in a way that only he can understand.
Of course, this truth, even if ‘real and vivid’, is mysterious on this side of eternity, where sin and its effects obscure and darken. But there are glimpses of glory behind the veil – the beauty of God’s creation is all around us, as I discovered on a morning walk, with the sun rising in a cerulean sky through the trees.
And behind all of this, we are surrounded by supernatural splendour, for those with eyes to see. So let us keep our minds and hearts fixed on the Blessed Mother, especially on this day, for she wants nothing more than to guide her children through the labyrinth of this life, offering them hope by which we may persevere to the end.