THE SERVANT GENERAL
ASSUMED INCORRUPT INTO HEAVEN
of the Assumption
August 15, 2010
“You will not suffer your holy one to see corruption.”
It is a dogma of the Catholic Church that Mary was assumed
incorrupt into heaven. This is the dogma of the Assumption.
the Assumption a reasonable assumption?
Well, first of all, there were other human beings who went
up to heaven without undergoing death and decay.
there was Enoch. “Few on earth have been made the equal
of Enoch” (Sir 49:14a). “Then Enoch walked with
God, and he was no longer here, for God took him.” (Gen
5:24). “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should
not see death, and ‘he was found no more because God
had taken him.’ Before he was taken up, he was attested
to have pleased God.” (Heb 11:5).
there was Elijah. “Elijah was a human being like us”
(Jas 5:17a), but God used him mightily, prompting Sirach to
proclaim, “How awesome are you, Elijah! Whose glory
is equal to yours?” (Sir 48:4). As Elijah and Elisha
“walked on conversing, a flaming chariot and flaming
horses came between them, and Elijah went up to heaven in
a whirlwind.” (2 Kgs 2:11). “Elijah, for his burning
zeal for the law, was taken up to heaven.” (1 Mc 2:58).
allowed these two great men to go to heaven without dying.
So why not for the woman who is full of grace, whom all ages
call blessed, who gave birth to the Savior of the world? Why
not for the woman who greatly pleased God with her yes? Why
not for this great woman of faith and obedience? Why not for
her who not only literally walked with God while on earth,
but nurtured and raised Him?
Furthermore, Mary was conceived without sin. Now death and
corruption are a consequence of sin, “for the wages
of sin is death” (Rom 6:23a). Our first parents sinned,
and brought death upon themselves and upon us all. “Therefore,
just as through one person sin entered the world, and through
sin, death, and thus death came to all” (Rom 5:12).
might it not have been indeed fitting that Mary, conceived
without sin and full of grace, would also not suffer the consequence
of sin? Is it not fitting that the body that bore the Savior
of the world would not undergo corruption?
However, it is not known whether Mary actually did not die
and was brought to heaven alive, or that she died and then
was taken to heaven incorrupt. If the latter, her death would
still not be a consequence of sin but rather, in the mysterious
ways of God, a means of participating more fully in the death,
resurrection and ascension of Jesus her Son.
died, and it would be reasonable that Mary, who is not superior
to Jesus, would also die. Much more so, Mary was very much
a part of salvation history and God’s plan for the redemption
of humanity through Jesus. This is why Mary shared profoundly
in the sufferings of Christ, all the way to the cross. This
is also why Mary would share in Jesus’ death, which,
together with his resurrection, would redeem the world.
Jesus and Mary would both have undergone death, but neither
David could have spoken prophetically of the assumption of
Mary, when he said, “Therefore my heart is glad, my
soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure, for you will not
abandon me to Sheol, nor let your faithful servant see the
pit. You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your
presence, the delights at your right hand forever.”
parallels of David’s words with Mary’s life are
too striking. Mary too rejoiced with her soul and spirit.
She was the faithful servant. And so her body dwelt secure,
not descending into the abode of the dead, but being raised
up along the path to life, eternal life in heaven in the presence
from “Forty More Days with Mary,” Day 11)
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