You Are Sacred and Have a High Destiny
Today we celebrate Mary being assumed body and soul into heaven where she now shares in God’s glory. Indeed, where Mary has gone, we will follow, for where Mary has gone, her son Jesus went before her, and she beckons us to follow her son into his glory. Mary always points to Jesus and tells us: “do whatever he tells you.”
Today’s feast of hope and glory is called Mary’s Assumption into heaven.
Here is what we mean by Mary’s Assumption and why it is full of hope and glory.
Mary went body and soul into heaven at the end of her life here on earth. This was the belief of all Christians from the earliest times and taught by the Church definitively in more recent centuries.
Because of Mary’s intimate bond with her son, Jesus, her fidelity to the Word of God spoken to her when the Holy Spirit told her she was going to give birth to Jesus, a Word she nurtured with a perfect faith throughout her life, and she never abandoned. Because of her faith and maternal bond with her son, she was assumed into heaven at the end of her earthly life.
This is a great hope for all of us! Where Jesus went, Jesus summoned his mother to come after him, and Jesus will also summon us one day, body and soul, into his glory. We will be reunited with him on the last day when Jesus comes again in glory and raises our mortal bodies, reuniting them with our souls for all eternity.
The purpose of the celebration of the Assumption of Mary is to make clear the sacredness and the high destiny of every single human person. But sometimes life beats us up and we forget we are sacred in God’s eyes and have a high destiny. Here is a story about that.
There was a king whose only son was an angry, rebellious young man. Try as he might, the king could not find a way to his son’s heart. And finally, one day the boy gathered up his things and rode off into the sunset. The father tracked his journey across many lands, waiting patiently till his son would remember where his real home was. When the time seemed right, the father sent a message, “Come home, my son,” he said. “I love you, and I want you at my side.”
As we celebrate this feast of Jesus’ mother, our eyes turn where Mary is always pointing, to her Son, who understands us so well. Jesus knows the baggage we are carrying, the fears and angers, hatreds and prejudices, sins, confusions, and all sorts of junk. He knows!
And knowing all that, Jesus says to us what the king said to his son. “Return as far as you can, and I will come to you the rest of the way.” That is what God did for us, when he made Mary Jesus’ mother. He came out to a spot where we could meet him and not be afraid, and where we could finally open our arms and say, “Father!” He says what he said to Mary, when he assumed her into heaven, “Welcome home,” welcome home my daughter.”
God continues to “come the rest of the way” for us every day. In doing that, he is not just taking care of us. He is showing us what he wants us to become, and that is reconcilers, people who have learned the habit of coming the rest of the way for one another.
Too much of life is frittered away with people getting angry and staying angry with one another. Angry at their parents and spouses, brothers, and sisters, angry at their colleagues, their clergy, their contractor, and God knows who else. What a waste, especially when we know that so often the evil of anger is in the eye of the beholder.
So why not pay attention to what the Lord is trying to teach us? Here it is: It makes no difference who is at fault. Take the initiative, the way the Lord does. Seek out the person you have dubbed “my enemy.” Name your hurt, your shame, your sorrow, your resentment, whatever it is that needs naming. Begin the search for peace… and leave your calculator at home!
Help the other person break out of the trap built by anger, resentment, or shame. Help the other save face if that is the issue. Do what needs to be done, and do not hold back. It is hard work, no doubt. But, in doing it, we become like God wants us to become. We become more and more like his Son, Jesus. And our hearts will grow large and happy and full – just like God’s!
That is God’s promise, and he always keeps his word. Is someone waiting to meet you halfway? Will you come the rest of the way? That is what God did for us, when he made Mary Jesus’ mother. He came out to a spot where we could meet him and not be afraid, and where we could finally open our arms and say, “Father!” And he says, “welcome home.” This is your destiny. Welcome home my daughter, welcome home my son, welcome home.