By Fr. Larry Dunn, MIC
We have reason to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with great joy. She who is the model of the entire Church in its perfection was assumed body and soul into glory. Now, when we reflect on what has happened to her, we can anticipate our own glory.
The Assumption reminds us that our death is not an end, but rather the next stage of our eternal life — the life that began the moment that we were conceived in our mother's womb.
Our Blessed Mother is now glorified body and soul in heaven. This should remind us of the fact that our bodies, as well as our souls, will also be glorified at the Resurrection of the Dead.
What are the characteristics of a glorified body? First of all, our glorified bodies, and our souls, will live in total spiritual union with God. Our bodies will be agile beyond our imagination — able to move at the speed of thought. Our minds will be incredibly sharp and brilliant beyond our current imagination. Our bodies will never experience suffering again; and, of course, they will live forever. This sounds wonderful to me. How does it sound to you?
When we think about the great dignity God will give to our bodies in heaven, it should encourage us to treat them with honor while we live here on earth.
How do you treat your body? I think that it is safe to say that there are times when all of us could do better.
I remember some years ago a doctor told me that I should put some skin ointment on every day through the year. I didn't want to do it. (I didn't want that sticky stuff on me!) Now that I have had my first (and hopefully my last) skin cancer removed, I make sure that I put that ointment on every day!
Our bodies are already temples of the Holy Spirit. They are God's gift to us. Let's recognize that fact and treat them accordingly!
As we care for our physical bodies and look forward to seeing them glorified, we can also count on the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She occupies a special place in heaven, sharing fully in God's glory, body and soul. From heaven, she is not only the Mother of the Divine Son of God, but our spiritual mother as well!
In fact, next to Jesus Himself, she is our greatest intercessor before the Father's throne. So, whatever our problems — whatever our aches and pains in this life — we can ask our Heavenly Mother to intercede for us.
Let us persevere in faith. Let us place our trust in Jesus through our Mother Mary. If we do, then the hope of glory is ours.
Father Larry Dunn, MIC, lives in Washington, D.C.