The solemnity of Mary’s Assumption is one of the more interesting ones. The dogma on taking Our Lady with body and soul to Heaven is relatively recent. The Church has been celebrating this feast day for only seventy years. One could ask very legitimate questions: Why is today’s Gospel not on the Assumption but the Visitation? And why do we celebrate an event that is not even mentioned in the Bible?
These questions are very appropriate. A lack of historical or biblical evidence does not mean that the event did not happen. Some Christian writers mentioned this mystery in their texts already in the 4th Century. Many pieces of art show Our Lady going to Heaven hundreds of years before Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Dogma in 1950. Because of the long Catholic tradition and the Pope’s infallible proclamation of the mystery, we can surely believe that Mary is in Heaven with her body. It shows one of the most important truths that sensus fidei (sense of the faith) takes an extremely significant place in the Church and that the faith is the Church’s faith. The Bible gives us revelation and presents the Truth. However, it is the Church who believes. And because of being inspired by the Holy Spirit, she knows what she believes. We do not believe that the Bible is the only source of the content of our faith. There is another source of our beliefs that is the Tradition of the Church.
We do not have many biblical passages in which Mary is present as the main character. For this reason, we hear only a few very well known readings at every Marian feast. Those who attend daily Masses probably know them by heart. As we listen to the hymn of praise Mary said in Elizabeth presence, we can also join our very own reasons to being grateful to Him. I am sure everyone has something to be thankful for. What Mary expresses in her hymn is how great is God’s goodness in comparison to her lowliness. This praise, however, has to involve the truth about ourselves. The task of following the example of Mary is not humiliating ourselves, but standing before God in truth and saying – “Here I am Lord. You know I’m very talented. I know how to do this or that. You know I’m weak in this or that. This is me. I want to thank you for all of these.” God loves us not because of our merits, but because he created us, chose us and wants to keep us in existence. Let us give praise to God for what we already are and what we must improve with His grace. He is great, he gives blessings, and he wants us to be closer to Him. And one day, we will be in Heaven with God, with our Lord Jesus and Our Lady who are awaiting us there.
Łukasz Gołąb – Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Sydney, Australia