The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is observed on August 15 and is usually a Holy Day of Obligation in the USA. It is not a day of obligation in 2022 because it falls on a Monday. It is, nonetheless, an important celebration!
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth calls Mary “blessed among women.” Mary’s Assumption into Heaven completes her call by God. Preserved from sin from her conception in her mother’s womb, Mary is taken up, body and soul, into Heaven. When Jesus returns, we who do sin will have our bodies rejoined to our souls.
We believe that Mary, by a singular grace granted by God, was conceived without Original Sin. This is known as the Immaculate Conception. Because of this, we also believe that Mary can discern God’s will in all things and, thus, never sin.
Scripture tells us that the result of sin is death. In a religious sense, death is the separation of the body from the soul. Since Mary is without sin, it is not necessary for her body and soul to separate. When her earthly life is over, Mary is assumed, body and soul, into Heaven. She follows Jesus, the “firstfruits,” as Saint Paul describes in the Second Reading, and is with him, still interceding for us, her children. Mary is the “woman clothed with the sun” referred to in the First Reading.
What Mary experiences is what we will experience when Jesus comes again. Our bodies will rise from the earth and join our souls in Heaven. We can then join Mary in her song of praise as our souls proclaim the “greatness of the Lord” (Luke 1:46).
Image credit: P.RAZZO/CIRIC