Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Full of Grace is an independent film about the last days of the Blessed Virgin Mary on earth. While Scripture did not detail many of the final years of Mary’s life, the film seeks to fill in the gaps by imagining what likely would have been her roles prior to her assumption into heaven. The bottom line is that the apostles wanted to stay connected to the Blessed Mother and she continued to be the source of inspiration for the disciples, especially by reminding them of their first call.

At the end of the movie, however, we do not see Mary’s Assumption, but rather her body wrapped in a shroud and placed in a tomb. The ending is sure to make some Catholics squirm. We are accustomed to thinking of the Virgin Mary gently being assumed, greeted by angels, receiving a crown, and watching over the world for the rest of eternity from her celestial throne. But the Catholic Church is silent on the exact account of her Assumption. The main message of the feast of the Assumption is that we can continue to reflect on Mary’s role in the church as the Blessed Mother.

The key to understanding the Assumption is Mary’s role as the New Eve, which the Gospel proclaimed forcefully. Today’s Gospel tells the story of the Visitation and the Magnificat wherein Mary visits Elizabeth and then proclaims God’s goodness to and through her, as she is God’s handmaid. The Magnificat signifies that Mary is the New Eve whom all generations will call blessed because the Almighty has done great things for her. Because she is the New Eve, she is mother of the New Humanity (Christians). Whereas the First Eve died and went to dust, the New Eve was “lifted up” into heaven.

August 15th, 2016