The Destiny of the Beloved: Baptism, Transfiguration, Adoption, and Assumption

The destiny of a human life, given over to God’s purposes, united with Christ, and adopted into his family is glory. The church commemorates the glorious entrance into heaven of the Virgin as a reflection of the glory of Christ that was revealed in his Transfiguration, manifest in his Resurrection and Ascension, and will be at last given to those who have been united with his divine Sonship through baptism.

Mary: an icon of human destiny in Christ

Mary shows us our own destiny as children of God and as heirs with Christ of the promises of the Father. The Blessed Virgin shows us what it looks like to be a finite creature wrapped, by grace and faith and love, in God’s own eternity.

The assumptions of the Assumption

On the face of it, Mary’s Assumption, body and soul, into heaven, is one of the most challenging traditions of the Church. One of my seminary professors loved to say that, for him, the Assumption was just too much of an assumption. It certainly presents a unique obstacle to many of our Protestant brethren. And this is in large part because the event does suggest, in a strange way, that the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus wasn’t enough, that there had to be something more.