Aug 15 2014- ProLifeCorner.com- Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun…”
On November 1st, of the year 1950, Pope Pius XII, while speaking with legitimate authority, by apostolic succession from the Chair of St. Peter, our first pope, in the Apostolic Constitution, Munificentissimus Deus, formally and explicitly defined the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mother as an infallible dogma of our Faith. The Pope writes,
“We pronounce, declare, and define Our Lady’s Assumption to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculately conceived Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”
In his declaration, Pope Pius XII, spoke of the intimate union between the Son and the Mother, throughout Jesus’ earthly life, but especially during His infancy. Pope Pius XII argues that it is reasonable to believe that this intimate union would continue beyond the grave. He added that since Our Lord had the loving, but obedient duty, to honor, not only His Eternal Father, but also His beloved Mother, that it would be reasonable to conclude that, “it was in Our Lord’s power to grant Her this great honor, to preserve Her from the corruption of the tomb, so we must believe that Jesus really acted in this way”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that, “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in Her Son Jesus9 Resurrection, and a foretaste of our own resurrection on the last day,” Unlike the Blessed Virgin Mother, why do we have to wait until the last day for our bodily resurrection? Because the resurrection and reuniting of our bodies and souls are postponed to the last day as a consequence of our sins, which merits the corruption of our bodies. Not so for the Blessed Virgin Mother, who, by a singular grace from God, knew no sin, not even from the very first moment of Her existence.
The Assumption of Our Lady is a fitting culmination of, not only Her struggle with the eternal foe (as we heard in the first reading), but also of her other privileges, as expressed by the Church throughout the centuries, such as being the Mother of God – the Theotokos, Her Immaculate Conception, and Her Perpetual Virginity.
Furthermore, Pope Pius XII did not give us an unexpected dogma in 1950. There had already been a great devotion to this truth for centuries. And finally, between the years 1949 and 1950, numerous petitions for the definition of this dogma arrived in Rome, from no less than 113 Cardinals, 18 Patriarchs, 2,505 bishops, 18,000 priests and religious, and 8 million lay faithful.
And Sacred Scripture gives us some wonderful imagery, applied by the Church to Mary. (In today’s responsorial psalm) Psalm 45 we hear how Jesus rewards His Queen Mother: “The Queen stands at your right hand arrayed in gold.’
My brothers and sisters in Christ, as the Queen of Heaven and Earth, Her royal crown displays three jewels that shine with an even greater dazzling brightness than any of the other nine jewels in her crown – Her jewels of humility, poverty, and suffering (the other nine are purity, meekness, charity, thanksgiving, faith, obedience, prayer, patience, and wisdom).
Because Mary was the most humble of all creatures on earth, She is now the most glorious creature in heaven. If She is seated nearest to Our Lord, it’s because She approached the perfection of His humility, closer than any other creature. In Her earthly life, She never even said a word in self-justification.
Because Mary was so poor while She lived on earth, Her poverty merited Her to be the Queen of Heaven and Earth. In order to imitate the poverty of Jesus, She labored in Nazareth, and perhaps begged in Egypt. Our Lord’s justice owes Her this compensation.
And finally, because Mary’s suffering was the greatest of any creature on earth, then no one is as happy as Mary in heaven. No one could have suffered so much for having loved as much as She did. It was God’s Will that Mary should suffer a continual martyrdom. Simeon’s prophecy pierced Her earthly joy like a sword. From that moment on, Mary substituted for Jesus while He was still too young to suffer publicly. At the foot of the Cross She is nearest to Jesus in order that She may suffer even more. That’s why she is called the Queen of Martyrs, since She was given the grace to live through Her suffering at the foot of the Cross, when it should have killed Her to see Son Jesus, whom She loved perfectly, being tortured and suffering so intensely. Since Jesus wished to have Her nearest to Him in Heaven, He united Her more than any other creature to His sufferings and humiliations while on earth.
God crowned Mary with glory and honor as His masterpiece — the sole boast of our human race. But in the midst of Her glory, Mary can never forget that She is our Mother, too! She was assumed body and soul into heaven before us, so that She may assist our entrance there, and to help conduct us in. Mary, Our Mother, will come for us, now, and at the hour of our death, if we just ask Her.
Mary, Queen assumed into Heaven, pray for us!