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MARY’S ASSUMPTION PROVES THAT WE TOO CAN RISE AGAIN IN BODY AND IN SPIRIT

14 Aug

MARY’S ASSUMPTION PROVES THAT WE TOO CAN RISE AGAIN IN BODY AND IN SPIRIT

(A biblical reflection on the SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY – Sunday, 15 August 2021)

Second Reading: 1Corinthians 15:20-26

First Reading: Revelation 11:19; 12:1,3-6,10; Psalms: Palms 45:10-12,16; Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-56]

Scripture Text

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.(1Corinthians 15:20-26 RSV)

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1Corinthians 15:22 RSV). Today, the 15th of August, we do not just celebrate a glorious event in Mary’s life. Today’s feast is a celebration of the destiny that awaits all of us. Mary’s assumption proves that we too can rise again in body and in spirit – just as she was taken body and soul into heaven.

Mary has such a privileged role in Christianity. Imagine how deep the relationship is between Mary and her Son – and the example she is for all of us. To prepare her for her role as Mother of God, God freed her from the stain of original sin at her conception and laid on her heart an unswerving desire to love Him and His people. She was indeed the first to receive the full fruits of Jesus’ redemption and now foreshadows the coming glory we all can expect. Made alive in Christ here on earth, and faithful to the end, she was even given a special participation in Jesus’ resurrection when, at the close of her life, she was assumed body and soul into heaven. Thus, Mary is the first Christian to experience what is destined for all Christians: to stand as a new creation before the throne of God and to share fully in His divine life.

Mary’s assumption gives us a great hope. As a matter of fact, Mary’s place in heaven now is sign of hope to all us who await our share in the resurrection when Jesus returns. We too will reign with Christ. We too will gaze face to face upon the beauty of God. We too will be surrounded by the heavenly host in all their glory and majesty – we will even outshine the angels because of our union with Christ. This is our hope. This is our heritage in Christ. This is what we all have to look forward to.

Mary shows that Jesus came not only to forgive our sins but to restore us as well, to bring us to heavenly glory (Hebrews 2:10). As God’s children, we are destined for nothing less than the glory of heaven. Jesus wants us to overcome sin simply because He wants us to be with Him forever in glory (1Thessalonians 4:17). In his letter to the Romans, Saint Paul writes: “If we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His” (Romans 6:5). This resurrection to new life is the fullness of the salvation we have now only in part. Our salvation is not limited just to this world, because we be joined to Jesus forever in eternity. With Mary, we too are destined to behold the “the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ” (Revelation 12:10). If we do it, we will be able to look back upon our whole lives and marvel at all the hidden ways of God working in us, preparing us for our heavenly inheritance. How amazing are God’s plans! And how amazing, too, that He provides us such an example as Mary to demonstrate all that He wants to give us. So the feast is not just about Mary. It is also about all of us and our hope of sharing with her in the glory of the resurrection.

Now, as we aim at the goal that Mary has already attained, let us seek sot live the kind of life she lived. Washed clean in the water of baptism, let us reject sin and totally accept Jesus. Filled with the same Holy Spirit that overshadowed Mary, let us embrace the power of the Holy Spirit as we live by faith today. Encouraged by Mary’s assumption, let us keep our focus on loving and serving Jesus as we await His glorious return. Like Mary, let us magnify the Lord and say “yes” to whatever He asks us to do.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, we pray for all those who do not yet hope for the resurrection. May each and everyone of them come to know that the reason we have been created is to live with You for all eternity. All praise to You, dear Lord Jesus, for conquering death for all of us! You are indeed an amazing, glorious God! Amen.

Jakarta, 14 August 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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