In 1950, Pope Pius XII infallibly declared that the Assumption of Mary in to heaven, body and soul is to be held by all Catholics as a deposit of faith. The declaration was made official only after it had been determined that the faithful throughout the world had always believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary had been assumed into heaven, body and soul, without any corruption to her body.
The Blessed Mother’s Assumption is a Continuation of her life
The Assumption of our Blessed Mother is not an isolated event in her life, rather it is a culmination of a life that has been so intricately tied to Jesus, that it is only fitting that the Mother of the Redeemer follow her Son into paradise in a way that has not been done before, nor will be done again. In essence, the Assumption of Mary crowns a life that has totally dedicated to God from the moment of her Immaculate Conception. If her dedication to God has one characteristic, it could rightly define as a life of humility. When the angel visited her Mary exclaimed, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant” (Lk 1: 46-48).
The Assumption of Mary is a glorious event raising the Blessed Mother above all creatures by the gift of her entrance into heaven body and soul. St Ambrose comments about Mary in this way, “that Mary is raised to such a high degree of glory, of honor, and of power, that not even the angels can realize it: it is known to God alone”. Mary realizing her future at her Annunciation responds “From this day all generations will call me blessed; the Almighty has done great things for me and holy ids his name” (Lk 1:49).
The exaltation bestowed on the Blessed Virgin is fitting because she is the daughter of the God the Father, the Mother of the Son, and Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Her free and willing responses to God give us an example of what discipleship is all about. The discipleship of Mary can be clearly seen with her fiat; her answer of “yes” to God’s wish for her to be the Mother of His only begotten Son. The “yes” or the acknowledgment to the question that God asked her was a response to the invitation of love. From that acknowledgment, Mary entered intimately into the circle of the Trinitarian love in which there was never a moment of separation. Simply put, the definition of discipleship– to enter into intimate communion with Almighty God with the fiat, or the answer of “yes” to the question that God asked her, do you love me? When Mary answered yes, she was full of grace, and remained that way her entire life.
Throughout the course of our life, hopefully we ask our Blessed Mother to intercede for us, not because we fear the wrath of God, not because we hold up Mary as another God, but because this most Holy Mother of ours is our example of what it means to follow Jesus into that intimate communion with the Trinity. For that is Mary’s wish. As a good mother, she wishes and hopes that the joy and fullness of life which she enjoys, will someday be ours.
We look to Mary as our example of what it is to be asked, to be humble, and to respond in an affirmative way. If we continue to follow her lead of discipleship, we will like her be exalted higher that what we can ever imagine.