The Assumption of Mary celebrates the assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven, body and soul, at the end of her earthly life. But why is it important for us as Christians?
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary is a long establish belief of Catholics and other Christians. The Orthodox Church holds a different perspective on the meaning of the Feast, celebrating it as The Dormition of our Lady.
The Assumption of Mary was formally declared as a dogma in 1950 by Pope Pius XII. The Holy Father wrote: 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.
But what makes this event so important for the rest of us?
There are several reasons. The Assumption glorifies God. It honors the Virgin Mary who is worthy of veneration and emulation precisely because of her unique role in God’s loving plan of salvation. Early Christian fathers referred to Mary as “the Second Eve”. Her “Yes” to the Lord is the counter to the “no” of Eve. This woman who was preserved from sin to become the living tabernacle, the home of Jesus, is raised into heaven by God.
Perhaps the most important fact is that Mary was taken up into heaven in the first place. It shows what is in store for us who die in the confidence of the Lord. It is an assurance that the end of our earthly life is not the end at all, but rather a new beginning.
How glorious it will be for us to also be taken into heaven and to enjoy perfect communion with God, and Holy Mary, the Mother of God!
On this Feast of the Assumption, let us be mindful that a great reward awaits those who are faithful to God, and who keep His ways and commandments. Let us love one another with renewed energy and hope, for as God welcomed Mary, He will soon welcome us.