The Assumption of Mary: Profound Silence in a Noisy World

The mysteries of faith are marked by deep and profound silence: the sinless, spotless conception of Mary; the Word of God taking flesh from the womb of the Virgin; the silent night of the birth of God with Us; Jesus’s incorrupt body laid in a new tomb; and His third day resurrection from the dead. These mysteries of faith are hidden from a noisy world. The reality of God’s revelation is hidden from the prying eyes of our skepticism. The mystery of God, acting in human history, takes place in the sacred space of deep and profound silence.

The mystery of God’s presence dwells deep within our heart. We are mostly unaware of God’s quiet presence. But, the more we overcome the noise of sin, the more easily we may enter into the silence of His presence. Greed, envy, wrath, lust, and all the rest, stir up a storm of spiritual confusion, forgetfulness and inattentiveness. In the midst of the storm, we cannot enter into the Temple of the heart to encounter God’s presence. In the midst of the storm, our spiritual eyes cannot peer into the mysteries of faith.

Repentance, the pursuit of holiness, and working out our salvation calms the storm within. Then, in silence, in the still waters deep within our hearts, the Lord may speak to us. In the silence within, the Lord may reveal Himself to us. 

In the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we encounter another mystery of God acting in human history: the falling asleep and bodily assumption of the body and soul of the Mother of God. Many biblical images have been associated with the Virgin Mary: the Burning Bush; the Ark of the Covenant; and the Temple of the Lord, where God dwells among His people in the Holy of Holies. In each of these images, God reveals Himself to human beings, but the mystery, God, is hidden by material signs.

The Virgin Mary contains within her human womb the uncontainable God. She herself is a mystery of faith: a quiet and humble life hides the mystery of God’s triumphant entrance into the world. The falling asleep, and bodily assumption into Heaven, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is marked by a deep and profound silence, yet proclaims and reveals God’s plan of salvation.

The Virgin Mary’s body is a sacred vessel: sanctified and made holy by the will and presence of God. Her body is a Temple, an Ark, and a Burning Bush, where God hides Himself yet makes Himself known. Because of her holiness, God assumed her body into Heaven as a sign of our future resurrection and eternal life with God in Heaven. In repentance, the pursuit of holiness, and by working out our salvation, our body may also become the dwelling place of the Lord, filled with grace and light, and prepared for eternal life. Then, we too become a mystery of God’s action in the world, hidden by the silence of our ordinary and quiet lives, yet revealing the deep and profound love of God to a noisy world. 

image: Assumption Altar in the church of St. Leodegar (Lucerne, Switzerland) by Zvonimir Atletic / Shutterstock.com

By

Deacon Thomas lives in Manchester, New Hampshire with his wife and baby. He is a full time high school theology teacher, a per diem chaplain at a community hospital, and serves as a deacon at Our Lady of the Cedars Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Manchester, NH. He graduated from Sts. Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2017 with a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree.

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