Monday, March 21, 2011

The Assumption of Mary

Jim from Washington asked: On what does the Catholic Church base its belief in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, since there is nothing in the Scriptures (that I could find) to support this miracle?

Jim is essentially correct. There is nothing in Scripture that says Mary was taken up into heaven -- although that in and of itself is not evidence that the whole thing was made up. As you can read in this link, there is plenty of historical data about, for example, the apostles, that appears in secular records, but not in Scripture. Which really should not surprise anyone. The New Testament was not intended to be an exhaustive account of the early Church -- which is why St. John said what he did in John 21:25, and why St. Luke spent only 28 relatively short chapters to detail the events that transpired during the several decades of the early Church's growth and missionary journeys.

Certainly there are examples in Scripture that can be likened to the assumption of Mary. Enoch "walked with God, and he was not, for God took him" (Genesis 5:24). Elijah was "taken up" to heaven in the fiery chariot (2 Kings 2:11). And there are numerous NT (and OT) passages that many Christians (Evangelicals, especially) believe prove the "Rapture" of the Church -- the glorious hope that takes place during the Second Advent when both the dead in Christ and those who "remain alive" will be "caught up" to heaven to be forever with the Lord (See for example 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58).

So, if Enoch, Elijah, and all Christians alive at the Second Advent (assuming the Rapture is a viable doctrine) -- then why not the holy mother of our Lord? Considering that God chose -- of all people in Israel -- that young virgin to mother His only begotten Son, I can't imagine why God would not take her  bodily to heaven.

And thus, because of the Scriptural precedence, and because the Church was authorized to promulgate Biblical and theological truth (e.g. Matthew 16:18-19, 1 Tim 3:15), I have no problem accepting Mary's assumption as true.

No comments:

Post a Comment