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. Jul 2019 .
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Doctrines & Morals

The meaning of Mary's Assumption.

Every August 15, we celebrate the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Catholic Church, the celebration is a dogma. A Dogma is a light along the path of faith and an official teaching of the Catholic Church that pertains to Faith and Morals which is proclaimed by the Magisterium that is, the teaching body of the Church through the Roman Pontiff and is binding on all Catholics. There are majorly four Marian Dogmas, which includes: Mary as Mother of God (theotokos), Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are certain points we need to remind ourselves about today's celebration. 
1. The Marian dogma of the Assumption also known as the falling asleep of the BVM which is implicitly contained in Divine Revelation was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950 in his Encyclical Munificentissimus Deus.
2. The dogma of the Assumption of the BVM states that: “Mary, Immaculate Mother of God ever Virgin, after finishing the course of her life on earth, was taken up in body and soul to heavenly glory.”
3. The Church teaches as a dogma that the Virgin Mary “having completed the course of her earthly life was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” 
4. The feast which is commonly celebrated on 15 August is also marked as a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Church and as a festival in Anglican Communion. 
5. The Assumption has been a part of the Church’s spiritual and doctrinal patrimony for centuries and also part of theological reflection as well as liturgy.
6. Pope Pius XII pointed to the Book of Genesis 3:15 as scriptural support for the dogma in terms of Mary’s victory over sin and death as also reflected in 1 Corinthians 15:54 -  “Then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” Since the Old Testament says that Enoch and Elijah were taken into Heaven, then the Assumption of our Blessed Virgin Mary shouldn’t be questionable because the body of the woman that gave the Saviour of the world human nature knew no decay for she was assumed both body and soul into heaven.”
7. It is seen as the logical conclusion of Mary’s vocation on earth considering how she lived her life in union with God and the mission of his Son whom she bore. 
8. The assumption can be viewed as a consequence of Mary’s Divine Motherhood being that through, with, and for her Son on earth, it was fitting that she also made heaven too. 
9. Because on earth she was the generous associate of her Son, the Church teaches that her assumption urges us to continue this association with her who is indissolubly linked to her Son on earth as in heaven.
10. Since the Church teaches that “Taken up to heaven, she did not lay aside her salvific duty ... By her maternal love she cares for the brothers and sisters of her Son who still journey on earth” (LG), Mary’s active involvement in salvation history continues in heaven which is why she is called “the eschatological icon of the Church” (CCC 972).
11. The assumption of the BVM teaches us that glorified in body and soul, Mary is already in the state that will be ours after the resurrection of the dead. 
12. A distinction must be made between the Ascension of Christ and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - While the ascension of the risen Christ into heaven is a sign of God’s divine power over sin and death, Mary’s assumption into heaven demonstrates the power and grace of God over nature.      
Lessons from today's celebration:
1. The celebration teaches us that where our mother is, we too may be;
2. It stirs up the desire for holiness in us so as to meet with our Lady in the beatific vision;
3. The assumption challenges us as a pilgrim Church to take to a life of prayer especially the rosary and other Marian Devotions seriously; 
4. Mary’s Assumption reminds us that her Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, Purity and humility are the tickets we need to make heaven.
5. Today’s celebration calls us to be ambassadors of the BVM and assures that with our mother in heaven, the victory over sin and death is ours through Christ, Our Lord. 
This celebration is not only for Marian Devotees but also for the Universal Church. The august event affords us the opportunity to reflect on the areas where we have not cooperated with the will of God to say like Mary: “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your words” (Lk. 1:38).  Have a blessed celebration!
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