Sunday, August 15, 2010

From the desk of Father Paul, August 15, 2010

Today (August 15th) is the feast of the Assumption of Mary. This is a particularly Catholic Doctrine based on what the Scriptures tell us about Mary. It simply states that when Mary died, she was taken, body and soul, into heaven. In other words, her body never faced decay like ours will. The Christian doctrine about resurrection of the body is that our bodies will rejoin our souls at the end of time. Mary, just as she was preserved from original sin at her conception (Immaculate Conception) in her mother’s womb, so too was her body preserved from corruption at her death.
The main Scriptural verse that the doctrine of the Assumption is based on is the same verse the Church uses for the Immaculate Conception: “Hail Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with you! (Lk. 1:28). More modern translations replace the word “grace” with “O highly favored one”. Unfortunately this phrase does not have the same impact as the word “grace”. The original Greeks use the word “kecharitomene” (translated as “grace”) which means so much more than “O highly favored one”. It implies and conveys permanency; hence Mary was full of grace, or complete in grace at any given time throughout her life. In declaring the Assumption as a doctrine, the Church applies kecharitomene to her entire life – from conception to natural death. No sin ever touched her and therefore she was assumed into heaven, body and soul, at her death. Happy feast day! Mary, pray for us!

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