Thursday, March 30, 2006

Reverse engineeering

The final two glorious mysteries of the Rosary pose the great difficulty of referring to events not actually narrated in the Holy Scriptures. When reflecting on the fourth glorious mystery, Mary's bodily assumption into the heavens after her death, perhaps we can take the same approach that we did on the previous mysteries in which Mary plays a major role.

At the annunciation (first joyful mystery), Mary accepts Jesus into her life, we realize we all need to do this, and that she was first. At the visitation, Mary, Elizabeth and John make the presence of the Lord the focus of their fellowship and rejoice, we realize we all need to do this, and that she participated in the first expression of Christian fellowship. At the Nativity, Mary brings forth Jesus into the world and for the shepherds to worship and adore, we realize we all need to share Jesus with others, and that she was the first to bring Jesus to others. At the presentation, she brings Jesus and her relationship with him into a formal religious context, and we see that she was first to perform this essential task. After finding Jesus in the Temple, she ponders and treasures the surprising ways in which Jesus acts, we realize we need to do this, and that she was the first to let Jesus direct their personal relationship. At the wedding in Cana, Mary intercedes for others, we realize we all need to intercede as well, and that she was the first to intercede on our behalf to the Messiah.

In all these "Marian" mysteries, we see that she gives us the first and most perfect examples of how to respond to Jesus. When we turn our attention to the Assumption then, we must almost reverse-engineer from the Scriptures an essential part of our relationship with the Lord and imagine a first and most perfect example of how to respond to Jesus which fits the Assumption. Our destiny of a bodily Resurrection and an eternity hopefully with God. This is our final hope, the purpose for which we were created, the purpose for which Christ entered the world, the purpose for which Christ died, the purpose for which Christ rose.

Some have received this privelege early. Enosh and Elijah were taken up to heaven according to the Bible. Suspicion looms about Moses (who appeared with Elijah to Jesus at the Transfiguration) as he left no known grave after his death. If in so many other areas of "our personal relationship with Jesus" Mary was both first and example to us all, then in the final known aspect of our personal relationship with Jesus (the Resurrection of the Body and Life Everlasting) it would make sense that she is still first and example to us all in this area as well. Certainly the Assumption is not an event contained in the Scriptures, but perhaps the event does not require as much of a stretch of the imagination as one might first think.

1 comment:

Dave King said...

What I love about the gospels is how catefull they are to show us how flawed even the "most perfect examples" are.

- Peace