Reflection on the Assumption of Mary

By Sister Carol Marie Wildt, Local Archives Contact, St. Louis
Sister Carol Marie Wildt, SSND

I picture the Assumption of Mary as her homecoming! Having completed the mission of her earthly life and longing to be with Jesus and Joseph, Mary is now reunited with her son and her husband. What a homecoming that reunion must have been like!

I also find myself wondering how Mary’s Assumption affected John and the other disciples. Mary was no longer physically present with them, they could not see or hear her, they could not confide in her and seek counsel from her. What a challenge to their faith in Jesus and His promises. With Mary’s body literally gone and no burial site to visit, there was no physical reminder of Mary, only memories and, at times, an unexplainable presence.

In our own day, many of us have met or know of persons who have experienced the loss of a loved one as a result of war, accident, violence, unknown circumstances, etc. and the body is never located. The feast of Mary’s Assumption gives hope and consolation to them as they grieve and mourn the loss of their loved one, believing that the person is not lost or annihilated, but enjoys eternal life with their God who loves unconditionally.

The Assumption symbolizes for me the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise, “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14: 2). This scriptural quote speaks to me of transition. In these days of transition, Mary’s Assumption brings hope and a deepening realization that present life, with its challenges, joys, struggles and dreams is not the definitive heaven we seek. As the funeral liturgy states: Life is changed, not taken away. If I, like Mary, continue to walk the path of my baptismal and vowed commitment wherever God leads me, I, too, will be raised up and reach the place that Jesus has prepared for me.

In several weeks, the global community will observe the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. This period of history saw millions of people die as a result of genocide, concentration camps, slave labor and the numerous evils of the war. It is significant that although the Assumption of Mary was celebrated as early as the 5th/6th centuries, the dogma of the Assumption was only proclaimed several years after the end of World War II in 1950. The war showed the world what happens when the human person and human body are not valued and are perceived as unworthy of life. The dogma of the Assumption is a powerful statement that the human person and the human body are sacred and will be glorified for all eternity. God’s creation of each person is good.

While the Assumption signifies God’s crowning of the creation of Mary as she ends her earthly life, it also signifies for me that I will follow her, my Mother, when my earthly life has ended. I can celebrate the hope of reaching heaven and living with the Trinity just as Mary has. My deepest hope is that following in Mary’s footsteps on the path that God has laid out for me will bring me to my true home and that I, too, will celebrate a homecoming with God, family, friends, School Sisters of Notre Dame and all those I hold dear.

Learn more about the Assumption of Mary.

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