Bartolome Esteban Murillo
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Assumption. For those who have no idea what this means let me explain. At the moment of her death she was assumed body and soul into Heaven by the power of God. This is not to be confused with Christ’s ascension into Heaven. Christ ascended into Heaven by His own power, Mary was assumed into Heaven by God.
How do we know that this occurred when it isn’t found in scripture. Firstly, not everything that Jesus taught his Apostles nor the teaching of the Apostles is written in the Bible. For the first several years of the Church everything was passed on orally. Many of these teachings are now called Sacred Tradition (I’ll get into the debates of sola scripture and sola fide at a later time). Secondly, no relics nor tomb have ever been claimed to be that of our Blessed Mother. All of the other Apostles, Saints, and so forth have had someone lay claim to finding relics or tombs. There are only two people who this has never been claimed for: 1. Jesus – because we know that he ascended to Heaven by his own power. (Acts 1:9-11) and 2. Mary. Lastly, there were other people whom God assumed into Heaven: Enoch (Gen 5:24), Elijah (2 Kings 2:11), and some say Moses was also assumed (no one knows where his grave is – Dt 34:6, the archangel Michael argues with the Devil about his body – Jude 1:9, and he appears alongside Elijah at the transfiguration (Mat 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36)
There are several excellent posts on this topic around the interwebs. I feel as if I would just be rehashing them. Allow me to present the links to a few of their posts:
Two posts from Brent Stubbs over at AlmostNotCatholic.com:
Mary’s Assumption Makes Sense in Light of Microchimerism An interesting take on the assumption by Elizabeth Scalia:
The Assumption by Brianna Heldt
The Feast of the Assumption is Our Feast Too written in 2010 by Msgr. Charles Pope