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Fr. Michael's Thoughts on Biblical Imagery: An Assumption with Certainty


(Fr Michael Boakye Yeboah: Vice Rector of St Gregory Seminary, Kumasi-Ghana)


            The modern definition of the term “Assumption” can be understood in different ways but two will be applied here. The first is “…an assuming that something is true”, while the second is “the taking up of a person into heaven.”

            Let us take the first definition into consideration. Many Christians hold strange theology on the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in salvation history; some think that the Blessed Virgin Mary should not be accorded the honor and praise Catholics give to her. To some of them she is an ordinary human being like all creatures of God. Some of them have gone extreme and offensive in their comments on Mariology. The most controversial themes on the Blessed Virgin Mary are Immaculate Conception; “Virginity of Mary”; and Assumption. For Gnostics, it does not make sense to assume that a “body” (matter) which is considered evil can be admitted in the holy heavens.

            On the doctrine of the Assumption, we “assume something to be true.” We don’t have any iota of doubt that our assumption is true and right. There is an ancient legend on this assumption. It is believed that after the paschal event, St. John the beloved disciple took Mary with him to stay in his house in Ephesus. After some time, Mary died and St. John made the Apostolic hierarchy aware. They came to prepare her body for burial. They laid her in a casket for a wake-keeping but the legend has it that the body disappeared and the casket was filled-up with roses. St. John was therefore concerned about the happening because it was around that era that thieves used to steal sacred corpses of holy people and heroes. As St. John deliberated on all these, it was later in years that he was blessed with a vision of which he himself narrates to us in today’s first reading.               St. John speaks of the appearance of a great sign in heaven, a pregnant woman “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and golden crown with twelve stars on her head…” This doctrine maybe based on assumption but it is an assumption with certainty. It is an assumption because nobody saw or witnessed Mary being taken like her Son Jesus into heaven. We assume to be true that she was taken body and soul to heaven.

            The second definition is up to the point (“the taking up of a person into heaven”). In the past it was very difficult to find this meaning on assumption in English dictionaries but today most of the dictionaries carry this meaning. It is not out of place at all we believe with certainty that the Blessed Mother of God is in heaven body and soul. Do not allow the philosophies of our world to solely guide your faith journey rather walk by faith. It is not profitable to assess Christian doctrine only with the science of reason. It looks as if some Christians want to believe if only they can understand what they are believing.

            I will conclude with the statement from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Church states: “Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians…”

            Personally, the Blessed Virgin Mary is dear to my heart for her complete adherence to the Father’s will, to his Son’s redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit. The Virgin Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charity. Please, our Blessed Mother, help us to imitate your Son very well.


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