Guide of Christianity

2013-08-14 L’Osservatore Romano

The liturgical celebration interprets this apocalyptic passage and reinforces it from an eschatological perspective that involves everyone in the proclamation of the First Letter to the Corinthians (15:20-27), which describes the Risen Christ as the first fruits of those who had died: thanks to him and to his Paschal Mystery, death no longer causes fear, it no longer has the final word, as all those who die in Christ will receive immortal life through him, one that has as its horizon permanent Communion of the Saints in God.

On this day Mary calls us to strengthen faith and secure hope. All those who, like her, “are of Christ” will be with him forever. This “great news”, passes, however, through the sting of death (cf. 1 Cor 15:55). While for many of us, death is a tragedy, a disaster, the cancellation of our being, for the Virgin Mary it was not, this was not so. As John Paul II taught, her death was caused because of her human nature (she is Immaculate, made Innocent by trinitarian love). She was immersed in the journey that inevitably leads to death which Jesus was also voluntarily subjected to. Her death, also called the Dormition by Eastern Christianity, achieved a stable union with the Beloved, the God of the covenant and of the promise. Mary’s mortal body took on immortality, thus being fulfilled the written words: “Death is swallowed up in victory (…) But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15:54b-57).

Salvatore M. Perrella