On the face of it, Mary’s Assumption (body and soul) into heaven, is one of the most challenging traditions of the Church. One of my seminary professors loved to say that, for him, the Assumption was just too much of an assumption. It certainly presents a unique obstacle to many of our Protestant brethren. And this is in large part because the event does suggest, in a strange way, that the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus wasn’t enough, that there had to be something more. Rilke’s question is the right one: who would have suspected that abundant Heaven was incomplete?
But asking that question forces us to deal with one of the basic assertions of the Christian faith: God didn’t need to create us or redeem us, but he did. That is the great mystery of creation. The infinite God who exists for himself alone, in total perfection, desired to share his superabundant goodness with creatures. It is that same mystery that we experience afresh each week when God comes to us in the Eucharist, offering his very self to us, bringing us, through the body and blood of Christ, into the fellowship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Thursday, 21 August 2014
Livingchurch.org: The assumptions of the Assumption