Assumption: Jesus, Mary Wait for Us in Heaven

The Virgin Mary Is Our Hope and Cause of Our Joy

Assumption Heaven
Assumption of the Virgin Andrea del Sarto Date: 1530 - Wikiart

Father Jose Antonio Senovilla offers Exaudi’s readers this reflection on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin into Heaven, celebrated on August 15; She who is our hope and cause of our joy.

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The Virgin Mary’s life is an evident demonstration of God’s commitment to man, a total and definitive commitment, only possible for God. From the moment  God the Father asked His Only-begotten Son to become man in the fullness of time to save men, and prepared a most pure womb for the conception of His Son, all the divine wonders are reflected in the life of our Mother Holy Mary. Seeing Her, it’s much easier to give glory to God. Listening to Her, we sing in a new way the wonders of God. Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid, for behold henceforth all generations shall call me Blessed, because He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name, and for generation upon generation is His mercy” (From the Gospel of the Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary).

All Mary’s prerogatives have to do with Her divine maternity. She is the Mother of God Incarnate: all stems from this. Moreover, as Jesus says to us, on explaining a compliment addressed to His Mother, She is <holy> above all for seeking always in everything the Will of the Father. She is Mother because She gave birth to Jesus; She is Mother especially for being such a good daughter of the Father (Cf. Matthew 12:47-50). Moreover, there is a new maternity of Mary at the foot of the Cross. Christ’s sacrifice, His total self-giving, has an echo in the creature: Jesus asks this of her and Mary receives us as Mother (Cf. John 19:25-27). In faithful compliance with the Father’s Will, Jesus not only gives us Himself in the Eucharist and sends us His Spirit, but He gives us the best that He has: His blessed Mother. She is no longer only Jesus’ Mother; She is also our Mother in, by and with Jesus.

The Divine Trinity gives Itself to us to save us and Mary responds with Her human filiation and maternity. Only the Most High God could think of something so divine and so human, so credible. Mary remains for a long time after Jesus returns to the House of the Father. She is asked to stay to accompany Her children in their first steps. We have an endearing example of it in Her help to the Apostle James in his evangelizing task in our lands [in Spain]. However, a moment arrives in which, by the law of life, Mary also has to leave: to be with the Father, to be with Her most beloved Son, to be with the faithful man who accompanied Her and took care of them — Saint Joseph.

Mary would have been wishing to go to Heaven, to embrace Jesus, but as always, She was totally given to the Father’s Will. She would go when God willed it and, in the meantime, She would take care of Her children. What delight it must have been for the first disciples to have Mary so close; to see Her receive Communion; to see Her pray; to learn from Her to love, to forgive, to be able to consult Her! It’s a mystery full of richness. How must life have been, in those early times of the Church, close to Mary? And the moment came when She knew Her hour had arrived. Her heart beat with greater intensity; perhaps She tried not to show it, but it was impossible. In Her gaze, always luminous, always pure, a new light appeared, ever more concentrated, ever more excited and happy.

This is a lovely lesson of Mary, added to the many others. At a certain moment, Jesus said to His disciples that they shouldn’t be happy because they cured sicknesses and the demons were subject to them, but because their names were written in Heaven (Luke 10:20). Since Her childhood Mary had the divine Heaven in Her heart: to be with Her, to look at Her, was already Heaven. Mary teaches us to live another way, to look at Heaven, to feel Heaven; it’s something else. Some time ago, chatting with a friend who seemed sad and tired, I asked him: What makes you happiest? He seemed somewhat disconcerted and asked for time before answering. Soon, however, reasons for joy began to emerge: when someone approaches God; when I can make my people happier . . .

However, in the Gospel Jesus gives us a more profound and definitive reason for joy: to think that God has destined us to go with Him to Heaven. Our hope is that they are really waiting for us there. Mary opens the way to us to find at any moment a renewed hope and a profound joy; thus She teaches us to live with our gaze on Heaven. Jesus, the only Saviour, opened the way to us to the House of the Father. But, once opened by God Himself, once the way had been followed by Jesus from Earth to Heaven on the day of His Ascension, a creature was necessary that had a heart able to follow that way and to teach us. And that creature could be none other than Mary. From the moment of the Redemption, the souls of the just that preceded Jesus went up with Him to Heaven (Cf. Luke 23:43). However, God had reserved something very different for the Virgin . . . In the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, the Chapel of the Most Holy Eucharist is dedicated to Jesus’ appearance to His Mother on the morning of His Resurrection, because Jesus, victorious, with His glorious body, wanted to embrace His Mother. Mary did not need, as others did, to have Jesus show Her His wounds to believe that it was not just a spirit but He Himself. But She did need, as so many times before, to have Jesus’ heart beat with hers. And Jesus felt the same way: there never were two hearts that were more alike: Mary’s like Jesus’, who was Her Creator, and Jesus’ like Mary’s, for being His Mother. Over Easter Jesus embraced His Mother many times (what conversations they must have had!) and He was wishing to embrace Her in Heaven. It was for Mary to fulfil Her mission on Earth and then for Jesus to take Her body and soul with Him to Heaven. On contemplating the mysteries of the Rosary, we imagine Mary’s entrance into Heaven: Her meeting with the Father, Her embrace with Jesus, the breath of the Divine Spirit. And Her meeting with Saint Joseph, and with all the Angels and Saints . . . a celebration! However, there are still many of us who have a long way on Earth before reaching Heaven.

At the end of time, when all of us exist and the number of the chosen is complete, the great celebration will take place, which will be unending. All of us Angels and Saints will give glory to God, acknowledging all that He has done for us, and we will do so looking at Mary: it will be the great and definitive celebration of the Coronation of Mary Most Holy, the happiest ending. Meanwhile, they wait for us there, Heart with Heart, Jesus and Mary. For many reasons, and also because of the message of Fatima, we know the definitive role of Mary’s Heart in the Salvation of our world. There is the cause of our joy, of our hope on our journey, in this very difficult time of ours. Heart with Heart, Jesus and Mary wait for us in Heaven.

Perhaps, in what at times is our very costly journey, we won’t be able to find a greater reason for joy. Therefore, in today’s Mass, we say: “The Virgin, Mother of God (…) is the example of sure hope and consolation of the pilgrim people. With good reason, Lord, you did not want the One who conceived in an admirable way in Her womb the Author of life, to undergo the corruption of the sepulcher (From the Preface of the Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin).

And, today, we look at Heaven and contemplate Mary’s most beautiful blue mantle and so we understand somewhat better that She is our hope and cause of our joy.