HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
THEME: WHY WAS THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY ASSUMED INTO HEAVEN?
BY: Fr A. N Abiagom, CM.
HOMILY FOR MONDAY AUGUST 15 2022
1. The encyclical Munificentissimus Deus of Pope Piux XII (Nov 1, 1950), Item 39 elucidates on the victory of Mary over sin and death in light of Genesis 3:15: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” The dogma of the Assumption is based on the belief that after Mary’s earthly life, she was taken body and soul into heaven.
2. God assumed Mary whom He chose to beget the Saviour of the world. Mary was taken into the very presence of the Most High and there, she was crowned coronated Queen heaven.
3. Mary is the Ark of the covenant. Where the covenant is, the ark also will be. In the Old Testament, contained in the ark are “the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant” (Heb 9:4). The objects in the ark implicitly annouce the importance and reveal the value of the ark.
4. Mary is the ark of the covenant talked about in Rev 11:19 which appeared in heaven when the heavenly temple of God opened up. She is the Queen clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet and crown of 12 stars on her head and with a child in Rev 12:1-2.
5. There are two questions that require theological elucidation if we are to truly grasp the celebration of today’s Solemnity:
(i) Why did Mary’s body not experience corruption? and
(ii) Why was Mary assumed into heaven?
6. Considering the greetings of the angel Gabriel to Mary at the annunciation, it is explicit that she is “full of grace”, an evidence of “total sanctification” (Luke 1:28).
7. Mary was conceived without sin because she was prepared from birth to bear in her womb the Son of God, Jesus Christ our saviour and redeemer, who is all holy. A tree is known by the fruit it bears. It is a good tree that bears a good fruit (Matt 7:17-18). Corruption relates to impurity not purity. Mary is “Mother most Pure” and so, God preserved her body from corruption.
8. Christ being the first born from the dead (I Cor 15:20) restored humanity to life. The risen Lord did not allow the body of his mother to know corruption. How can the body that inhabited divinity be corrupted? Corruption is due to sin. The body of Mary was sanctified by God to bear the divine word which took flesh and dwelt among us (Jn 1:14).
9. Christ ascended into heaven after His resurrection (Lk 24:51; Acts 1:9), and took his seat at the right hand of the Father (Mk 16:19). Mary was assumed into heaven after her life on earth and was crowned Queen in Heaven (Rev 11:19; 12:1).
10. By Mary’s assumption and her consequent coronation, she is Queen of heaven and earth and “all generation shall call her blessed because the almighty has done marvels for her” (Lk 1:48-49). On Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, it was the Holy Spirit that prompted the speech of Elizabeth (Lk 1:41-42). In other words, that all generation will call Mary blessed is a divine declaration.
11. The one who was assumed was ardently chaste, she was a virgin (Lk 1:26). Her visit to Elizabeth after she had been conceived of the Holy Spirit shows her profound humility (Lk 1:26-40). She could have considered herself superior to all other women and as such; expected people to come to her and not her to go to people. But she remained humble even after having encountered God and conceived of the Holy Spirit. She was caring and loving. Most probably, her visit to Elizabeth was to render her assistance, since her cousin was heavily pregnant at the time (Lk 1:30). Her readiness to accepting the will of God discloses her poverty in spirit and total obedience to God (Lk 1:38).
12. Mary is our mother. Let us keeping honouring her and calling her blessed. She is heaven’s gift to us. Let us not forget what Jesus said on the Cross: “Woman, behold your son!” and to the disciple he said “Behold, your mother!” (Jn 19:26-27). Anyone who says he or she is a disciple of Christ and does not behold Mary, would definitely need to examine the nature of his or her discipleship. Let us not forget the effect of Mary’s intercessory role at the wedding at Cana in Galilee (Jn 2:1-11). Even though it was not yet time for Jesus to start performing miracles, he had to begin at the concern of his mother. Mary is indeed heaven’s treasure.
Happy Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.