Today we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We celebrate this day every year, for several reasons:
- Mary was conceived without Original Sin. In accordance with God’s plan for salvation, Mary should be a pure vessel bringing forth the Son of God, because Jesus is sinless. He deserved a tabernacle (womb) free from sin.
- Mary never sinned during her entire lifetime. Because she was born without Original Sin, she did not have the concupiscence (tendency to sin) like the rest of us. She was “full of grace” and could therefore resist all temptation, unlike us.
- Because Mary was free from sin, her body should not, and would not, experience corruption in the grave, as noted by Pope Pius the XII in his Apostolic Constitution, Munificentissimus Deus:
[Mary,] by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body (MD 5).
So, for these reasons, Catholics celebrate Mary’s Assumption into Heaven, where we believe that she resides with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In Honor of Mary’s Assumption
Many non-Catholic Christians think that we worship Mary, when in truth, we venerate her role in the salvation of souls. We worship only God. We esteem Mary for her “fiat,” her “yes,” to becoming the Mother of God. For without Jesus becoming man, we would not have a Savior. When we say the Hail Mary prayer, take note that the whole first half of the prayer is formed from Luke 1: 28, 42, and the second half of the prayer asks Mary to pray for us.
So, in honor of Mary, let us say a Hail Mary:
“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee” (Luke 1:28). “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb” (Luke 1:42) Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution, Munificentissimus Deus: Defining the Dogma of the Assumption. Vatican City: Vatican.va. 1 Nov. 1950. Web. 21 Jul. 2018.
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