A Word in Season
Dumping My Assumptions about Mary
Mary is, indeed, full of passion. She gave her body and soul to God with her fiat, and never looked back; she loved her husband and son and made a home wherever she was—in Nazareth, Bethlehem, Egypt, Jerusalem, and after the death of Jesus, with John, his disciple. She looked after Elizabeth, her older cousin; she interceded for a bridal couple in need of wine. She embraced the new wine flowing from the side of her Son on the cross.
Life with Mary is never boring. It leads to an ever-deepening union with Jesus: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . ." (Lk. 1:46-47).
You don't need to become a mother to understand all of this. You can take Jesus' word for it, and you can trust the Church's teaching on it, too.
Through Mary we see our own true destiny played out through her Assumption whereby she was assumed (or taken up) into heaven at the end of her earthly life, body and soul.
The Assumption is a singular grace afforded to Mary. It is related to her Immaculate Conception; she is the first person to be saved by Jesus. Mary did not undergo corruption at the end of her life, for she was sinless throughout it.
In this doctrine of the Assumption, the Church meets the despair of the world . . .
She affirms the beauty of life against death. When wars, sex, and sin multiply the discords of men, and death threatened on every side, the Church bids us lift up our hearts to the life that that has the immortality of the Life that nourished it . . .
Eat the food of earth and one dies; eat the Eucharist and one lives eternally. She who is the mother of the Eucharist, escapes the decomposition of death. (The World's First Love, Fulton J. Sheen)
Mary's Assumption anticipates the resurrection we may one day enjoy in Christ. Further, when we are perfectly conformed to Christ, we, too, will have a perfected, glorified body, that is united with our soul in heaven.
The Mother of Jesus, in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth on earth until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim People of God. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 972)
In Mary, we see the true hope of every human person: we were made for a loving, intimate relationship with God and with others.
In Mary, we see our own heavenly destiny. And that is—all at once—wonderful, transcendent, grandiose, and truly sublime.
Um . . . it's anything but irrelevant.
Pat Gohn is a Catholic writer, speaker, and the host of the Among Women Podcast and blog. Her book Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood is published by Ave Maria Press. Subscribe to “A Word in Season” via email or RSS.