15 August 2010

Feast of the Assumption

Today is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin so perhaps it is a good idea to look, at least briefly, at what assumption actually means.

With the Feast of the Ascension we noted that Jesus as the Christ continues his bodily existence now in the heart of the God's own life. With all the other feasts we celebrate with regard to Christ we celebrate God's coming among us, God's self-emptying, God's limiting of self in ways which allows him to be present with us offering us his life and love and risking our rejection of those gifts. But with the Ascension God begins the process of taking into himself the Christ and all that is made a new creation in Christ. The many mansions are prepared and with the Ascension the extreme paradox of bodily existence in the heart of God's own self begins. It is first instance of the climax towards which all of creation yearns and groans, the beginning of God's own "fulfillment" as he becomes all in all.

The Feast of the Assumption continues this movement of the new creation into the very life of God's self, movement into God's own heart. Today we celebrate the fact that Mary, Mother of the Word incarnate, exists body and soul in the heart of God. She, despite death (or "dormition") is indeed a citizen of heaven (the very life of God) and is universally available to us as Sister and Mother. She has, through the grace of God, achieved the goal which is our own, the goal of all creation in Christ, the goal of resurrection and judgment, and so we celebrate that achievement for it means that God's own purposes are coming to fulfillment, and his creation is coming to perfection in him. We celebrate for Mary, we celebrate for God and his Christ, we celebrate for ourselves and all of creation.