As I’ve mentioned before, it’s harder to reflect on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary if you’re just using Scripture because it’s not spelled out in the Bible. However, Scripture can provide circumstantial evidence that shows that Mary being assumed into Heaven, body and soul, is a definite possibility.
Before we proceed, however, let me clarify something. Jesus ascended into Heaven through His own power because he’s, you know, God. Mary, however, was assumed into Heaven, which means that she was taken there through God’s power.
So what can the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary have to teach us? For me, it shows that death is not the end of the story. We have all lost a loved one at some point in our lives. It always seems sudden to us, but some people are blessed enough that they are prepared for it. One instance of this was my grandmother on my mother’s side, Teresa.
My grandmother Teresa married my grandfather when she was only 17. He was about 10 years older than her. They were both born around the month of October. In spite of the age difference, they were married for over 50 years until my grandfather’s death on February 12, 2002, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. 14 years later, on the exact same day, my grandmother joined him.
I couldn’t help but think that maybe my grandmother was waiting for her husband. In the months before she died, she refused to eat, even with a feeding tube. The last time I saw my grandmother was when my mom was having a video chat with her. Although my grandmother couldn’t talk, I had that feeling that she was at peace.
My mom wanted to share how she felt during my grandmother’s last moments:
"Those last days, I could see that she was ready to go, but seem to be waiting for a sign that everyone is ok. I asked Inang (Grandmother) if Amang (Grandfather) was in the room with her. At this point, Inang has not opened her eyes for a week at that time."
"I could see her labored breathing. I asked her if Amang was with her. Before this, she also has not communicated at all. No words, nothing. I told her, ‘If Amang is in the room with you, raise your hand’ and she did. With that small gesture, I knew that Amang was there with her, seemingly to pick her up. So I said.. ‘If you want to go with Amang, then you can go now. Do not worry about us, we are all ok now. Everyone is settled in their lives, even your grandchildren are all ok now.’ A few hours later, she passed.”
The mystery of the Assumption represents “the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.” I still miss the ones who’ve passed away in my life, but this mystery reminds me that I can still pray for their souls. I can never be 100% certain if their souls are in Heaven right now, but I know that they are still in God’s presence, still part of the Mystical Body of Christ, and therefore, they will always be a part of my life.
How do you deal with the loss of a loved one or a famous person that you admire? Have you ever asked God to help you through it?
Do you assume that all who die go to Heaven immediately or to Purgatory by default? What do you think happen to people who die without any faith in God or lived a bad life?
Offer prayers for the souls of the faithful departed, especially for the souls in Purgatory and the souls of aborted babies. Then pray for the souls of those who died without believing in God or whose souls could be in the grave danger of going to Hell.