Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, Year 2007
Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
Exactly fifty seven years ago, 1950 years after the Incarnation of the Son of God, Pope Pius XII proclaimed as a dogma of the faith the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. This means that all Catholics must hold as an unquestionable and immutable truth that, in addition to the Body of Jesus, there is in Heaven, among the assembly of the Saints, at least one other Body: that of Mary, the Mother of the Son of God according to the flesh. At the end of her earthly life, Mary was raised up by God into Heaven, both body and soul, in order that the creature whom the Holy Spirit chose as his mystical Spouse might be fully glorified in the assembly of the Saints, both in her body and in her soul.
The Holy Spirit and Mary, Mystical spouses, united themselves to each other in order to give birth to the Son of God made man: the incarnate Word. Like all spouses, and even more so than earthly spouses, the Holy Spirit and Mary are but one flesh since the Incarnation of the Word in the womb of the Immaculate Virgin: "They are no longer two, they are one flesh." (Mt. 19:6) Mystically, in the order of divine grace, this one flesh is nothing other than the Body of Christ himself, the Mystical Body of Christ, of which Mary is the first and principal member. But, precisely because Mary is the first and the principal member of the Mystical Body of Christ, she also realizes in herself the fullness of the Mystical Body of Christ. Indeed, for it not to be thus, it would be necessary for the Holy Spirit, after having married Mary, to have been able to marry each of the members of the Mystical Body of Christ. But that is impossible, since the Holy Spirit, as the Husband of Mary, had given himself entirely and completely to Mary his Wife.
In the assembly of the Saints, the Body of Mary is truly glorified by God, for in this absolutely unique Body is realized the fullness of the Mystical Body of Christ. Insofar as the believer forms part of this Mystical Body, he becomes in this way - that is, through Mary - a participant in the Gift of the Holy Spirit. In this sense, each of the faithful, each member of the Mystical Body of Christ, and thus the entire Church, can be called the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, being one Body with him in Christ. This is why, throughout the ages, and until the end of time, the Holy Spirit and the Church unceasingly call to Christ, that he might return to earth in order to seal with his glorious and resurrected Body the Marriage already begun and realized by the Holy Spirit and Mary, eternally glorified in Heaven, in soul and in body: "The Spirit and the Bride say, «Come!»" (Rev. 22:17)
Homily - Lk. 1:39-56
“ In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, «Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.» And Mary said, «My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.» And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home. ”
“ When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, «Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?» ”
Today we are celebrating Mary, the Mother of the Lord, the one who begot the Son of God incarnated in her, the one who entered heaven body and soul, and the one who entered during her worldly life the blessed home of Zachary and Elizabeth, the parents of the Precursor of Jesus!
During her life on earth, Mary entered the home of her cousin and she was cheered with all kinds of blessings! Today, we are commemorating the entrance of Mary into the home of Heaven, the home of God himself, and we can hear in our mind all the praises and marvels which all the angels and saints of Heaven continue to proclaim in favor of the Mother of the Lord! If her entrance into a terrestrial home was received with praise and glory, how could she not receive also some praises and glories upon entrance into the home of Heaven, this Paradise which was the object of all her desires? Yes! Here all the angels and all the saints of Heaven herald Mary repeatedly with the words, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”
“ «Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.» ”
On earth Mary lived by faith, and the Heaven which she receives now in inheritance is the fruit of her deep and sincere faith in the Word of God which she welcomed in her. We also live by faith; we also welcomed the Word of God. If we are really members of the mystical Body of Christ, we live on earth a life of faith identical to that of Mary. Contemplate therefore Mary on this day when she enters into Heaven, because that which occurs today will occur again when our life on earth ends and that the life of Heaven will be definitely given to us in shares!
Don't weaken! Keep well! Faith is a fight, as Saint Paul said (cf. 2 Tm. 4, 7)! May the Most Holy Virgin Mary help us by her almighty prayer, and enable us to emulate her.
May the Saint Communion of today make us other Christs, some true members of this mystical Body which is the Church!