Joseph Hogan, a reader from Madonna House, Ontario, Canada describes the wonder of Mary's Assumption as the end of the Marian Year approaches.
THE Assumption of Mary, August 15, 1988, is the last day of the Marian Year as we prepare for the Third Millenium of Christianity in the year 2000. The Assumption of Mary is a much heralded mystery of Mary. By this mystery, Christ is glorified and we too are glorified. As the moon reflects the light of the sun, so Mary reflects the light of Christ.
When we wish to know who we are now and what we will be in the future, the best thing we can do is look at Christ and Mary. By her Assumption, Our Lady says something about our own future in glory, about the rewards of perseverance, about our own bodies and their sacredness and she says something about the magnificence of God.
God is no slow poke in honouring his children. The grandeur of Our Lady required the grandeur of her bodily assumption into heaven. Our Lady at the Assumption received from God the brilliance, the glory, the splendour and the radiance which is fitting for the Queen of heaven and earth.
In a marvellous way, she, the first of the redeemed, has gone before us and we follow, as children of God and children of Mary, behold and share in this radiance and magnificence of Mary. Our own glory in heaven and earth depends on how we live now. When Christ's faithful, like Mary, "do the will of God", they too will share God's grandeur. In a way it is all so simple and reduces itself to great love.
Mary by her Assumption says something to us about the value of our beautiful human bodies. Human beings are ordained to praise and bless God with these very bodies of ours. We ought to remember that in and with Christ, our sacrificial disposition of praise and thanksgiving remains forever. We all know the crimes of abuse of our precious bodies; impurity, abortion, mercy killing, murder, war, alcoholism, as St Paul says somewhere in Scripture, "Let none of this be among you." By praising God constantly, we make reparation for these grave sins against the human race. Mary leads us forward by telling us in her Assumption that the human body was created to praise, and reverence God forever.
Just seven days after the Assumption, on August 22, the Church celebrates the Queenship of Mary. Mary's Queenship is about your glory and my glory. The Queenship of Mary is about Mary's glory, she is the woman crowned with 12 stars, and Mary's Queenship is about the glory of her Son Jesus and the glory of God. Some ecclesiastical writers claim that Mary is the crown of the universe, God's mightiest and most momentous creation. These superlatives do not remove anything from the glory of God but enhance God's glory. God has wrought true beauty in Mary, should we deny that handiwork of the Creator? In an essential manner, the exaltation mysteries of Christ; Passion, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, are the crown of creation.
The Father simply wishes to share the glory of his Son Jesus with redeemed humanity. Mary is the exemplar and the first of humanity redeemed by the Precious Blood of Christ. We share that glory as children of Mary and children of the Father. The closer we come to Jesus and Mary, the more true glory we partake in. The Queen honours us with her love. Queenship means victory and exaltation. The Father with the Holy Spirit and the Son crowned Mary with glory upon her entrance into heaven after her glorious Assumption. The Assumption, we must remember, was a divine action and therefore a work of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Liturgy for the Assumption prays, "All-powerful and ever-living God, you raised the sinless Virgin Mary, Mother of your Son, body and soul to the glory of heaven. May we see heaven as our final goal and come to share her glory."