When we are tempted to get lost in our little human joys and pleasures, what we celebrate in Mary’s Assumption is like a beacon drawing us onward to the joy of the Kingdom. This is because real joy, the joy that rejoices to the end, is very deep-rooted and will strike root in us as a fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work within us. It is infinitely more than our experience of pleasure, comfort, and delights of many kinds.
And so, as we celebrate Mary’s complete and perfect joy today, it is good for us who are still “on the way” to remember that joy is the seed-bed in which all life strikes root—without it, we cannot live. Joy is the mark of being alive and of progressing. The joy that is at the root of our being propels us ever onward. André Louf captured the great role joy plays in our lives when he wrote: “It is joy’s own task to pull us up to a better level of being than we now ‘enjoy.’ Only joy can do this. Joy is always in the process of surpassing its own boundaries. In a sense, our joy always lies a little beyond where we are today. It is a summons, a challenge. It anticipates the joy of further growth in our relationship with God, who alone makes it complete, perfect….”
Mary’s complete joy as she was taken body and soul into heaven is a cause of great hope to us. She is one of us and with us. In her, all God’s promises have been proved trustworthy. Enthroned in glory, she shows us that our hope is real; even now (in the words of the Letter to the Hebrews) it reaches as “a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” to where Jesus is seated in glory.
Reflection by Father Dominic.