For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. (44)
|Venerable Pope Pius XII|
But why is Mary glorified by the Assumption into heaven? St. Luke, as we have heard, sees the root of Mary's exaltation and praise in Elizabeth's words: "Blessed is she who believed" (Luke 1:45). And the "Magnificat," this song to the living God who acts in history, is a hymn of faith and love that flows from the heart of the Virgin. She lived with exemplary fidelity and treasured in the depths of her heart God's words to his people, the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, making them the content of her prayer: in the "Magnificat" God's Word becomes Mary's word, the light of her path, making her open even to receiving the Word of God made flesh in her womb. Today's Gospel passage recalls this presence of God in history and in the very unfolding of events; in particular it is a reference to the second Book of Samuel, chapter 6 (6:1-5), in which David transports the Ark of the Holy Covenant. The parallel that the evangelist makes is clear: Mary awaiting the birth of the Son, Jesus, is the Holy Ark. Mary is God's "visit" that brings joy. Zachariah, in his song of praise, will say this explicitly: "Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people" (Luke 1:68). Zachariah's house had experienced God's visit with the birth of John the Baptist, but above all with the presence of Mary, who bears the Son of God in her womb. (source)
|Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI|
Mary's body, then, is consecrated to the Lord in a unique way. Letting her flesh rot in the ground, then, would be an act of desecration, it would see something holy (set apart for the Lord) used as if it were profane. It was to avoid this profanation that God raised Mary's physical body into Heaven, to do less would be unthinkable - indeed unjust - and thus impossible for the God of Justice to allow.
Let us enjoy this great Feast, this pledge of our own eventually bodily resurrection at the end of time, by raising our voices, with Mary, in prayer and praise,
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;my spirit rejoices in God my Saviorfor he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.From this day all generations will call me blessed:the Almighty has done great things for meand holy is his Name.He has mercy on those who fear himin every generation.He has shown the strength of his arm,and has scattered the proud in their conceit.He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,and has lifted up the lowly.He has filled the hungry with good things,and the rich he has sent away empty.He has come to the help of his servant Israelfor he has remembered his promise of mercy,the promise he made to our fathers,to Abraham and his children forever." (Lk 1:46-55)
AND MAKE SURE YOU GO TO MASS TODAY!!