"Christians have always seen Mary as an image of the entire Church and a guide for us to follow."
On the cross Christ entrusted His Church to His Mother. Mary has walked the path we all must follow, from earth to Heaven. All those who have passed from this life and gained Heaven are separated from their physical bodies, awaiting the final judgment. But Mary received the grace to be body and soul in Heaven. Jesus ascended to Heaven in glory, His mother was assumed into Heaven.
In the Book of Revelation the justified are clothed in white, but Mary is clothed in the sun, embraced by Christ, the sun of righteousness. In ancient times the queen was not the bride of the king, who may have had many wives. The queen of ancient Israel was the mother of the king. The moon lies at the feet of the Queen of Heaven crowned by twelve stars which represent both the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles.
The dragon, that great serpent, the devil, may sweep the stars from Heaven but it powerless against the Mother of God, destined to become the mother of the Redeemer and the mother all Christians.
We live in the time of the Kingdom of God, a spiritual kingdom far greater than the earthly kingdoms of old. It will achieve its full glory in the world to come, when the Son, having defeated the last enemy, death, hands His kingdom over to His Father. The Assumption reminds us of that victory that is to come.
Christians have always seen Mary as an image of the entire Church and a guide for us to follow.
What is the work of the Church? Why are we here? It is to build the Kingdom of God, to bring more and more people into the friendship of Christ. Or as you may recall the way Tom Monaghan put it, “to get to heaven and to drag as many people along with me as possible.”
But what happens when we accomplish that goal? What happens to us, the Church when we have reached our objective? The Solemnity of the Assumption gives us the answer.
Mary is intimately linked to Jesus and shares in His life and ministry. As members of His Mystical Body, we do the same. Like Mary, the Church brings Christ into the world through our many charities and apostolates but especially through the sacrament of Baptism. Through magisterial teaching and the administration of the sacraments we continue to care for and accompany our members as they grow to spiritual maturity and find their own missions.
Just as God assumed Mary into heaven, body and soul, at the end of her earthly mission so too will God bring His Church into perfect communion with Him at the end of all things.
We have God’s promise, the example of Mary. The Blessed Mother is a pattern for us to follow. And every Christian who follows Mary’s path of humility and faith, will follow her into joy of the master’s house.
The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary
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© Lawrence Klimecki
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Deacon Lawrence draws on ancient Christian tradition to create new contemporary art that seeks to connect the physical and the spiritual.. For more information on original art, prints and commissions, Please visit www.DeaconLawrence.org
Lawrence Klimecki, MSA, is a deacon in the Diocese of Sacramento. He is a public speaker, writer, and artist, reflecting on the intersection of art and faith