One of the best parts about contemplating the mystery of the Assumption is just contemplating the great love that our Lord Jesus Christ had when our Blessed Mother Mary entered into His Kingdom.
Because, yes, it’s cool that Mary was physically assumed into Heaven and all that, but in the end, that’s just the little details. When someone receives a beloved guest into their home, very few people care about what sort of car the person drove just before the meeting took place. No! When a beloved comes to your home, you remember that first meeting, the hug, the words that you first speak to each other, the look of love on their faces as they come over and you get to meet each other.
And, while I was studying scripture to use as scripture meditations for the Assumption, I was struck with this too. Because yes, there are a lot of traditions and legends about the Assumption of Mary and how she was assumed and how glorious it was, etc., etc. But, the scripture passages didn’t really delve into this at all.
Just take a look at the scripture passages that I ultimately chose! There’s this one, which is a prophecy from the Song of Songs, in which there is a deep yearning for the blessed one to come.
Song of Songs 6
9One alone is my dove, my perfect one,her mother’s special one,favorite of the one who bore her.Daughters see her and call her happy,queens and concubines, and they praise her:10 “Who is this that comes forth like the dawn,beautiful as the white moon, pure as the blazing sun,fearsome as celestial visions?”
And then this passage in the gospel, in which Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cries, “Blessed are you among woman!”
40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, 42cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”46 And Mary said:“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;47my spirit rejoices in God my savior.48For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
These scripture passages don’t really talk about the whole mechanics of how Mary ascended, whether she died before her assumption or not, or any of the popular other traditions that many Catholics like to debate about and many Protestants vehemently disagree with. Instead, look at the focus:
It’s about Mary.
It’s about God.
It’s about God’s love for Mary, His mother.
And so, when I saw this artwork of Mary being assumed into Heaven, my heart melted just a tiny bit.
It’s a picture of Jesus receiving His mother into Heaven. A whole throng of angels carry the Virgin Mary upwards toward Heaven, while the Resurrected Jesus in Glory, sitting on a globe to indicate that He is King over all, stretches out His hand to receive her.
And what really touches me is the look on their faces. Their is a look of longing and love on each of their faces. And by love, I don’t mean the romantic sort of love — romantic love can die away. I mean the deepest sort where you can look at each other and just perfectly understand each other and love each other no matter what.
The sort of love that only God can truly give.
And it reminds me of the glory of Heaven and makes me yearn for Heaven all the more.
And I can’t help but think: if this is my reaction to the scene, how much more so would it be for the Virgin Mary? After all, not only she was coming into Heaven, but she also beheld her son and got a chance to see Him again.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
This blog is part of a blog series about meditations of the Rosary, in honor for October, which is the month dedicated to the Rosary! This artwork, as well as many others, are available in my book, The Glorious Mysteries, which allows you to pray the Rosary prayer by prayer, with each prayer illustrated with gorgeous religious art. If you would like to learn more about the books, click here!