Very dear Sisters and Friends,I wish you all a grace-filled feast of Mary’s Assumption! I hope this message finds you all in good health and I pray for the same.As some sisters asked me, I am happy to share some reflections on Mary’s Assumption from a biblical perspective. A search for biblical references to Mary’s Assumption is bound to be a failure as the Assumption of Mary does not figure in the New Testament. However, the Gospel traditions underline the intimate relationship between Jesus and Mary as well as the unique role played by Jesus’s mother in Salvation History. This close association is foundational to the belief in the Assumption of Mary. But we must make a distinction between Jesus’s resurrection and ascension, and Mary’s being assumed or taken into heaven by the Risen Christ. It is also important to keep in mind that people like Moses, Enoch and Elijah had been taken up into heaven by God, so the idea was not alien to the traditions of first century Judaism. These traditions also lie behind the transfiguration narratives in the Gospels. There Moses and Elijah, in their glorified bodies, are found with the glorified Jesus. Similarly, we have a portrait of a glorified woman in the book of Revelation (Chapter 12), an image of the blessed condition of humankind before sin entered our history. Mary, the mother of Jesus, embodies that condition.
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