Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary
August 15, 2020
Sacred Heart, EGF – 9:00 AM
The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption are closely linked.
In the Immaculate Conception, Mary is conceived in her mother’s womb, and she is conceived free from original sin. She is preserved from original sin so that she can bear Jesus into the world. The gift of the redemption goes back in time and preserves Mary from sin before Christ comes into the world.
In the Assumption, Mary is assumed, body and soul, into heaven.
“The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
In the Immaculate Conception, Mary is preserved from original sin,
and so, it follows that:
In the Assumption, Mary is preserved from bodily decay.
Preserved from sin’s corruption in the womb,
she is also
preserved from death’s corruption in the tomb.
From the 5th century, the Church has celebrate the “dormition”, or the “falling asleep” of Mary.
From a 9th century sacramentary which was used in the celebration of the Eucharist on the feast of the Dormition of Mary:
Venerable to us, O Lord,
is the festivity of this day
on which the holy Mother of God
suffered temporal death,
but still could not be kept down
by the bonds of death, [she who has]
begotten your Son our Lord
incarnate from herself.
Christ passed from this life.
Mary passed from this life.
Her body did not see corruption.
Mary’s obedience undoes Eve’s disobedience.
Eve’s disobedience led to four curses in Genesis:
- Loss of innocence
- Pain of Childbirth
- Urge for her husband who will rule over her
There are four events in the life of Mary where these curses become blessings:
- In the Immaculate Conception, Mary preserves her innocence where Eve lost it. Mary is preserved from original sin.
- In the Annunciation, Mary remains a virgin while becoming a mother. She is a Virgin Mother. Theologians speculate that Mary brings forth Christ into the world without the pain of childbirth (which was a consequence of original sin).
- On Good Friday, Mary stands by her Son at the foot of the Cross. Since the fall, to differing degrees, there has been strife in the relationship between men and women, between husbands and wives. The relationship between Mary and Jesus is preserved rom this. She is a companion of Christ. She is with her son in the work of redemption. The graces that he won for us pass through her hands on their way to us. She intercedes for us to her son as she interceded at the wedding feast of Cana. “They have no wine…Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:3,5)
- In the Assumption, Mary is preserved from the bodily corruption resulting from death, where Even experience the corruption of death.
|Eve’s Curse (from sin)||Mary’s Blessing|
|Loss of Innocence (“their eyes were opened” (Genesis 3:7))||Immaculate Conception: Preserved from Original Sin|
|Pain of Childbirth (Genesis 3:16)||Annunciation: Virgin Mother|
|“Urge for your husband who will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)||Good Friday: Companion of Christ|
|Death (Genesis 2:17)||Assumption: Preserved from Corruption of the Tomb|
The dogma of the Annunciation was declared in 1950. Many of these reflections are taken from the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XII called “Munificentissimus Deus” (“The Most Bountiful God”) which declared the Assumption of Mary as a dogma of the Catholic Faith.
The dogma of the Immaculate Conception had been declared in 1854 (just 96 years earlier) by Pope Pius IX. Once that was declared, the Assumption naturally followed. If Mary was preserved from original sin in her conception, it follows that she was preserved from the consequences of sin (death).
Munificentissimus Deus! The Most Bountiful God, indeed! A God who, out of love for us, would provide a remedy for our fall – the woman who would crush the serpent!
We received the Son through her womb and her “yes”.
Now, we receive graces through her hands and her intercession.
Next Saturday, we celebrate the Queenship of Mary.
Raised to glory in Heaven,
may she be raised to glory in our hearts:
Pray for us,
O Holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.