Thursday, April 20, 2017

This is the Glorious Day

What is commemorated on this feast of the Assumption, is not simply the total absence of corruption from the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary but also her triumph over death and her glorification in heaven, after the pattern set by her only Son, Jesus Christ.
            As Saint John Damascene relates, "It was necessary that she who had preserved her virginity inviolate in childbirth should also have her body kept free from all corruption after death.  It was necessary that she who had carried the Creator as a child on her breast should dwell in the tabernacles of God.  It was necessary that the bride espoused by the Father should make her home in the bridal chambers of heaven.  It was necessary that she, who had gazed on her crucified Son and been pierced in the heart by the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in giving him birth, should contemplate him seated with the Father.  It was necessary that the Mother of God should share the possessions of her Son, and be venerated by every creature as the Mother and handmaid of God."
            Saint Germanus of Constantinople considered that it was in keeping not only with her divine motherhood but also with the unique sanctity of her virginal body that it was incorrupt and carried up to heaven.  "In the words of Scripture, you appear in beauty.  Your virginal body is entirely holy, entirely chaste, entirely the house of God, so that for this reason also it is henceforth a stranger to decay."
            Hence, the august Mother of God, mysteriously united from all eternity with Jesus Christ, immaculate in her conception, a virgin inviolate in her divine motherhood, the whole-hearted companion of the divine Redeemer who won complete victory over sin and its consequences, gained at last the supreme crown of her privileges-to be preserved immune from the corruption of the tomb, and, like her Son, when death had been conquered, to be carried up body and soul to the exalted glory of heaven, there to sit in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the ages.   from Munificentissimus Deus by Pope Pius XII
            Pope Pius XII used language somewhat unfamiliar to us.  Mary was a virgin inviolate, preserved incorruptible by death.  Despite being the Mother of God, Mary remained a virgin, a deep mystery that leads some to disbelief.  But for those of us who believe the father of Jesus was the Holy Spirit, it makes sense that her holy body would not see decay in death.  Like her Son before her, Mary was taken into heaven, body and spirit.  Unlike her Son, who could raise himself from death and ascend into heaven, Mary was not God, so God had to gather her body and spirit into heaven. kvs

No comments:

Post a Comment