Among the in-words of our day is the word “closure."
We bring our conferences and discussions to closure.
We come to closure in our business transactions and family generations.
Marriage counselors talk about bringing strained relationships to closure.
Even lunches come to closure.
The opposite of closure is “without end.” Few things in life are without end. Among the true things we say are without end are these: We say, “I will love you forever (beyond death).” We pray one God without end.
It is the belief of our faith community that Mary is a human being, first among us, whose life goes on without end… not in human memory alone, but her very life/her body/her spirit. There is no closure in the life of Mary.
Just a Christ is the first fruit of the Resurrection, Mary is the first human person to be in that tradition.
The American poet, Jessica Powers, in her poem "The Homecoming” begins with these words about Mary’s Assumption:
“The spirit, newly freed from earth,
is all amazed at the surprise
of her belonging; suddenly
as native to eternity
to see herself, to realize
the heritage that lets her be
at home where all this glory lies.”
The poetry of this feast embodies the truth that life lived under the impulse of God is eternal.
Mary’s life was lived under the impulse of God – God’s life, God’s breath, God’s energy. Take the Gospel for the feast of the Assumption. Mary could have stayed home, said “No. I am pregnant with God’s life. The one I bear is more important than the one Elizabeth bears. Let her come to me or let her stay home. I am not moving.” But this would not be Mary’s way or the way of her Son. Rather, Mary was suffuse with generosity and selflessness. Even when, later, this sensitivity to God’s impulse would lead he to be a homeless, political refuge, even when she came to the apparent impasse of the cross, Mary would not close herself to God, to life.
Will that divine impulses move us to respond generously? Will we live life in the belief that we are without end?
This feast bids us to take heart. Our lives are not destined for termination. Like
Mary without end, we are called to be Ann without end, Mike without end,
whoever we are without end.
If we live with this conviction, we live with Mary in kinship and destiny.