Mary always leads us to her son, Jesus Christ.
All these many centuries after her earthly life ended, it is no different. She is the one who leads us here, to this holy place, so that we can reflect on and celebrate the hope of heaven that is ours through faith.
On this holy day we commemorate the Blessed Virgin Mary who was assumed body and soul into heaven.
When we die, our souls will be separated from our bodies and our corpse will corrupt.
However, by the gift of God, Mary’s body was not left to rot in the earth but was lifted up together with her soul to the glory of heaven.
This was fitting and pleasing to Jesus. As His mother never sinned during her life, He desired that her body not suffer the effects of sin which are corruption and decay. Since the harmony of her body and soul was never disrupted by evil desires, so her body and soul would not be separated by death.
This gift that Mary received is a participation in Jesus’ own resurrection. Just as Mary suffered along Him during the hours of His crucifixion, so she would enjoy the resurrection of her own body.
This same hope is held out to us who have been baptized into Jesus’ death. Though none of us can claim to be sinless, we can be assured that, if we embrace with love the crosses that are part of our day-to-day lives, we too will one day participate in Jesus’ victory over sin and death.
We are made for more than this life and what it can give us. We are made for more than to spend several decades on earth and then die. Rather, our true home is heaven. We were created to spend eternity with God.
During this earthly life, we experience a struggle within ourselves. Our soul and our body are constantly at war with each other. On the one hand, we yearn to pray, to be disciplined and to serve others. But, on the other hand, we get tired, frustrated and bored. We want to wake up early to pray but our body wants to spend another ten minutes in bed. We want to read the Bible but so often turn on the television instead. We are in a constant battle to respond generously to God’s grace or to give in to temptation or laziness.
This does not mean that our bodies are bad. On the contrary, God created our bodies and made them good. Our body is more than just a container for our souls. Rather, our bodies are who we are. We are our body as much as we are our soul. However, because of sin, our bodies so easily yield to temptation. And, because of sin, our bodies will one day die.
However, during the struggles we experience during this earthly life, we hold on to a hope that cannot fade. It is the hope that one day our bodies will be raised up and reunited with our souls. Like Jesus and Mary, we will have a glorified body that no longer experiences pain and suffering. It will be a body that is in total harmony with our soul. In that glorified state, our whole being will praise the goodness and mercy of God throughout all eternity.
Mary already rejoices before the throne of God in a glorified body. By the resurrection of Jesus Christ and by her prayers, we hope to attain the same.
And so, in the time we have remaining in our earthly life, we struggle against temptation and sin. When we fall, we repent and go to confession. When we overcome evil through love, we give the glory to God. In all things, we rely on God’s grace and the prayers of Our Lady in heaven. And we look forward in hope, for one day the struggle will be over and our corrupt bodies will be raised to immortality.
That is the mystery we celebrate today. That is the mystery we live every day of our lives as we look forward to the glory that awaits us in heaven.