Recently I attended the memorial service of a wonderful man. During the service, it was said that he wasn’t a religious man, implying that he didn’t know what came after death. His loving grandchildren did. Five of the seven wrote poems in which they expressed their love and their belief that his love would continue to be with them and guide them through their lives. How could it not? He had loved them so much, so deeply. Their instinct was right – they had known him in love and his love would go on. It was the greatest reality that they knew about him.
This week we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. The feast concerns another death, that of Mary, but also of the belief that after her death she was taken to heaven, body, soul and spirit to be with her son Jesus, to whom she had been so close here on earth. There is no direct Scriptural basis for this belief – but it has been an instinct of believers in the Church since its earliest times. Our belief holds that she, who was mother to Jesus, who shared his joys and sorrows so closely in his life, now shares his glory. She is a sign of the hope to us who hope to enter into the fullness of love and life with God. Do we really understand what this means? No, but like the grandchildren of the friend who died, we have an instinct that tells us that the love we have known will go on…and that God intends to cover us in glory, as he did Mary.
Loving Father, you have given us Mary as a sign of hope to us when we are fearful about what happens after death. In her, we see the fullness of life and love that you wish for all of us. Help us to trust in the glory that is to come. We ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb