Today is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. I have to admit, I always have a little trouble with this holy day. It is the day we celebrate Mary’s whole body going to heaven. I mean, who really saw this? Legend has it that Thomas the Apostle did and caught her girdle on the way up. Really? It just seems a little too out-of-this-world to fathom. But that said, it would be just like her, wouldn’t it?
There is something profound about Mary giving her whole body to what she loves, which is being with God and her son. She is fully committed.
And when you think of Mary’s body, it wasn’t the porcelain white, manicured hands, chiseled jaw body that we often see in art. It was a body that had birthed and nursed a baby. It was worn with hard work. There were lumps and bumps, scars and maybe wrinkles. This lived-in, woman’s body is what was assumed into heaven. As she said in her canticle, her soul doth glory in God’s love – fully! There is a completeness, body and soul, to her self-giving. There is a singularity of purpose. “Here I am, Lord. Take me as I am. I am yours.”
What could we learn from this? We can try to live with this kind of focus. Do everything with a love of the Lord. We can try to give ourselves freely to what is life-giving in our lives. Live without fear when we open our hearts. And we can live in hope that one day we may be whole-ly – and holy – with God too, body and soul.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!