My Dear Sisters and Brothers! The power and authority of our God are manifested on this Solemnity. They exceed the power and authority which any government or regime would ever desire to have. On this Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary our God reveals his power and authority which triumph over death and subsequently over sin and devil. Because it is devil who through leading us to sin has thrown us into death. However our God hasn’t given up on us. St Paul in the Letter to the Christians in Corinth wrote: ‘Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of all who have fallen asleep… Just as all die in Adam, so all will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order.’
What is this proper order? At Easter we glorify God for the Resurrection of his Son and our Lord, Jesus Christ. His Resurrection initiated everything. Then a few months later, on August 15, we come to our churches to nurture and strengthen our faith as we glorify God for rising to eternity the body and soul of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Can you see that it is happening? I mean the Resurrection. Mary was the first to participate in the Resurrection of Christ. We are next. We don’t know when it happens but we believe that it is coming.
The most ancient images of the Assumption don’t show Mary flying into the sky. However they do show her Son Jesus coming back. Some of these images of the Assumption depict the Apostles looking at Jesus standing in their midst again as they gathered to mourn Mary’s death. What is Jesus doing there? He is fulfilling what he promised at the Last Supper. ‘After I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too.’ Jesus went to heaven by his own power. Mary was taken to heaven by the power of her Son Jesus. We can see now that Jesus’ Resurrection is working. We will be next.
Some other ancient images of the Assumption show the Glorified Jesus standing with his Apostles by the lifeless Body of Mary while holding in his arms her soul looking like a baby girl. Mary is often depicted holding the Boy Jesus in her arms as she gave him human life. Now the Risen and Glorified Jesus holds her in his arms as he is giving her life eternal. These ancient images of the Assumption give us hope that death which looks like a separation of body and soul is now joining with Jesus. However Jesus didn’t take with him to heaven only the soul of his Mother. After her soul was united with him in her death he reunited her soul with her body and took her body and soul to heaven.
As a young girl from Nazareth Mary exclaimed: ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour.’ In these words there is so much excitement typical to young people having the whole life ahead of them. On the day of the Assumption we hear these words again. This time from a woman, who has been through a lot, joys and sorrows, however she still proclaims the greatness of the Lord. She still says: ‘The Lord has done great things for me.’
My Dear fellow believers! I encourage you now to say quietly in your heart: ‘The Lord has done great things for me.’ Indeed the Lord has done great things for you, so say it loudly now: ‘The Lord has done great things for me.’ May this belief nurture your looking forward to the final great thing the Lord will do for you, when in your body and soul you will be with him in the company of this Dear Lady Assumed to heaven.