Monday, August 15, 2016

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(Revelation 19a.12:1-6a.10ab; I Corinthians 15:20-27; Luke 1:39-56)
In the Olympics the world’s most perfect bodies are celebrated.  The athletes have strained for years to render their bodies exquisitely fit for the sport being played.  Despite all this work in time these same bodies will grow weak whether from neglect or disease.  The days will come when they, like the bodies of all living things, will cease to function completely.  The remains of these bodies then will have to be disposed in some form or another

In the case of the Mother of God, however, the day of death was short-lived.  Her body was assumed into God’s glory because it was not corrupted by the guilt of sin.  She lived a life like that of the rest of us – full of moments of joy and hours of drudgery.  But, unlike us, she never despised another person as not worth her attention.  She never wanted more than she knew she deserved.  She never deceived anyone for either meanness or gain.  Not weighed down by guilt, Mary was granted the greatest prize.  Her body remained intact after death and entered the company of her glorious son.

That our bodies will also deteriorate and perish need not make us sad.  We know that we have joined ourselves to Christ who has conquered death.  Our bodies will rise again at the end of time with an appearance perhaps not unlike those of the Olympians today.  But that won’t be the cause for our joy so much as our nearness to him who saved us.