As we approach to celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, let us learn about this doctrine and what it means for us. The word Assumption comes from the Latin verb assumere, meaning "to take to oneself". The Immaculate Mother of God was assumed by Our Lord into heaven partaking into the resurrection of Jesus and opening the way for us Christians. Mary is a sign of hope that we will share in the resurrection of Christ. Mary, though sinless, is a human person. She is not divine. Yet God the Father was pleased to raise her from the dead. Mary’s assumption is a reminder that we are called to resurrect with Jesus on the last day as God has promised us: “I will raise you on the last day” John 6:54.
According to research from the University of Dayton, solid evidence for the belief of Our Lady’s Assumption of the early Christians is found in ancient liturgies and homilies in honor of Mary's passing. In the Middle Ages, The Transitus writings written by Melito of Sardes, refer to Mary’s homegoing in detail and were widely spread among believers of the era.
“In the presence of the apostles gathered around her bed, also in the presence of her divine Son and many angels, Mary died and her soul rose to heaven, accompanied by Christ and the angels. Her body was buried by the disciples. Difficulties developed among certain of the Jews who wished to dispose of her body. Various types of miracles occurred to convince them to honor Mary's body. On the third day, Christ returned. At the request of the apostles, the soul of Mary is reunited with her body. Accompanied by singing angels, Christ brought Mary to paradise”. ( Excerpt Transitus Marie)
This belief was well established theologically and part of the devotional expressions of the people by the end of the Middle Ages.
Finally, in the year 1950, the dogma was proclaimed in the encyclical: Munificentissimus Deus written by Pope Pius XII where he defined Mary's Assumption into Heaven as a dogma of Roman Catholicism:
"The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven."
Can we be assumed to be Heaven like Mary?
The catechism affirms that the miracle of the Assumption is an anticipation of the resurrection for all of us who believe in His Second Coming.
The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son's Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of His Body (CCC 974).
We will not be assumed in body and soul, but we were promised the resurrection in our glorified bodies. Think about it, Our Blessed Mother, fully human, like you and I, lives in Heaven with the Trinity, angels, and saints. How beautiful it is to know that from Heaven Our Mother can intercede for us, can share her wisdom through her apparitions, and love us so much so that we can join her in eternity.
Her apparitions have been clear signs of her seat in Heaven.
In the gospel according to Matthew 27:52–53, it is suggested an assumption before the Second Coming; “The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”
This is our hope, the promise that we will be with God in Heaven forever and we will meet Our Blessed Mother in her body and soul.
Happy Feast of the Assumption of Mary!