Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's a Promise

Ahhh...Catholic gotta love it. No, really, you do...the Church says you should love it. Today is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For many Catholics today might be a case of, "who cares?" and for many Protestants this might be a day to say, "You're at it again with the whole Mary thing!" Today's feast is a promise to all the Christian faithful that our souls will be rejoined to our resurrected (not reanimated) bodies and we will worship God forever. That's one heck of a promise!

I love Our Lady! Her role is to lead us to her Son. You ask her to pray for you and she is all over it. She is the first and best disciple and our best example of how to love Christ. While she was born without Original Sin, that doesn't mean that she couldn't sin. Adam and Eve were created without Original Sin and we know how awesome they were in the not sinning department. Mary could have sinned, but she chose not to sin.

Think of all the times you could choose to not sin, but do it anyway. It makes me shudder!  Now, think about the times when you're trying to break a sinful habit and how strong the temptation is to sin. Imagine what it was like for Mary. She must have been bombarded with temptations we can't imagine, but she said 'no' every time and that only made her soul stronger. She never abandoned her Son and reading John's account of the Wedding Feast at Cana, Mary encouraged Jesus to embrace his mission. She followed him on the Way of the Cross and stood at the Foot of the Cross. She became the mother of the apostles and kept them together after the death of Christ.

From the very early Church, Mary has been honored for her role as the Mother of God and for her faith.  There is historical evidence of this feast day being celebrated in the 5th century. Tradition states that Mary died about 11 years after the Crucifixion, surrounded by the apostles (except Thomas) and was placed in a tomb. When Thomas arrived he asked to view Mary's body and it was not in the tomb. The belief began to spread in the early Church that the Risen Lord did not want his sinless mother to suffer the effects of death (i.e. lying in a grave). Mary was "assumed" into Heaven, body and soul.

It is highly unlikely that I will be spared the indignities of death and I will undoubtedly have to spend some time in Purgatory, because let's face it, I'm not Mary. However, I will make it to Heaven in my resurrected body where I'll get to worship God forever. I will also get to say to the Blessed Mother, "Thank you for being our example and promise."

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