On this Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary it is good for us to take some time to meditate on her blessed vocation.
Mary was called from her mother’s womb to be the Mother of God. God chose her and prepared her for such an exalted vocation by making her the Immaculate Conception. Et macula originalis non est in te. (There is no original stain in you.) Mary is such a privileged creature; chosen to be Christ’s Mother. Mary’s whole-hearted, fiat, response to her vocation lead her to be both the mother of the Church and a symbol of that same Church.
This feast of the Assumption reveals clearly how Mary is both our Mother and our model. Mary goes to visit Elizabeth and is called “blessed among women”. Elizabeth recognizes her blessedness, because Mary is chosen to be the new “ark of the covenant”. The old ark carried the commandments of God, but the new ark contains the God-man. Jesus fulfills the Old Law. He is himself a covenant between God and man. It is impossible that this ark could contain within it any stain of sin. Mary had to be without “spot or wrinkle”, immaculate from the moment of her conception. The Immaculate Conception of Mary foreshadows what God has called all people to be, Holy. At the end of her earthly life it was impossible that this “ark”, this blessed body, would in any way experience decay. God took his precious ark to himself. Mary was assumed into heaven body and soul. She received a glorified body, just like her Divine Son. In this resurrected body, Mary foreshadows the fact that we are called to receive this body at Christ’s Second Coming. Yes, Jesus will come again and the dead will be raised. Everyone will receive what is due them based on how they have responded to God’s grace. Those who are counted among the elect will receive a glorified body like Mary. Where she has gone we hope to go. Mary has lead the way for her faithful Children.
The Mercedarians have a special connection to Mary whom we recognize as the foundress and inspiration of the work of redemption. Our Constitutions encourage us to imitate her purity: In order that they may better center their lives in Christ the Redeemer, they shall be oriented toward the imitation and veneration of Mary, our foundress and Mother, impressing her image as a seal upon their hearts, so that nothing may be in their mouths, minds, or conduct that does not breathe love for the Virgin Mary. What a challenging vocation! Yet that is the call. We as Mary’s special sons are called to imitate and venerate her in our words and actions. If we do this faithfully we will become signs, like her, of the Second Coming when all things will be fulfilled in Christ. Happy Feast to all!!