God is walking around Heaven one day, and notices a number of people in the heavenly streets who shouldn't be there. He finds St. Peter at the gate and says to him, "Peter, you've been remiss in your duties. You're letting in the wrong sort of people."
"Don't blame me, Lord," replied Peter. "I turn them away just like you said to. Then they go around to the back door and your mother lets them in."
August 15th we celebrate the Assumption of Mary. This solemn feast of Mary was defined by Pope Pius XII in 1950. Even before the church celebrated this feast in different names: as the Feast of the Dormition, or falling asleep of Mary. In the Gospel of Luke 1:28 at the Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Hail Mary full of grace.” Mary Immaculate received the grace to be body and soul in Heaven along with her son. The other just souls that have preceded us are in Heaven, but they’re separated from their bodies until the Last Day when Our Lord raises everyone from the dead in the Last Judgment. Our Lord ascended into Heaven in glory. Our Blessed Mother was assumed into Heaven.
We know from the Bible, God created Adam and Eve in the image and likeness of God. CCC 397 “Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.”
God gave us second Adam and Eve: Jesus and Mary. If we look at the first book of the Bible, Genesis 3:15, we read, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; they will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel.” In the Gospel of John 19:26, we see Mother Mary and the Apostle John at the foot of the cross. When Jesus saw them, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” And said to John, “Behold, your mother.” In the book of Revelation, John talks about his vision. In our first reading for the Mass of the day, Revelation 12:1 “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” We read in the Book of second Samuel 6:2, “Then David and all the people who were with him set out for Baala of Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which bears the name “the LORD of hosts enthroned above the cherubim.” John sees the heavenly counterpart to the ancient ark of the where God sat invisibly enthroned in the sanctuary of Israel.
For the vigil Mass, the first reading is from the first book of Chronicles chapter 15, which gives us the picture of David bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem with the help of musical accompaniment by the Levites. The Arch of the Covenant was a golden container which held sacred items such as the tablets of the Commandments, the rod of Aaron, and some of the manna from the desert. In the Book of Revelation 2:1-6, the woman adorned with the sun, the moon, and the stars symbolizes God’s people in the Old and the New Testament. The Israel of old gave birth to the Messiah (Rev 12:5) and then became the new Israel, the church, which suffers persecution by the dragon.
God chose Mary, second Eve, in a special way to bring Jesus, the second Adam, who bring us salvation. Mary is new the Ark of the Covenant. When the old ark was completed, the glory cloud of the Lord covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Ex 40:34-35; Nm 9:18, 22). The new Ark of the Covenant, Mary, was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. The new Ark of the Covenant, Mary was assumed into heaven.
The Assumption of Mary into Heaven reminds us that suffering and trials are also gifts from God. It was not easy for Mary, but she made it. Assumption reminds us of what awaits for us. Let’s pray today that Mary helps us make the journey to Heaven and one day shine there alongside her and her Son.