Yesterday, August 15th, Catholics all over the world celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. The Catholic church teaches that at the end of her life, Mary was taken up body and soul to Heaven and that she is currently seated at the right hand of Jesus Christ as Mediatrix, Co-Redemptrix, and Channel of all God’s graces.
In the 4th-century, a small but determined group began calling for an exalted position for Mary in church theology. Claims were made for her immaculate conception, followed by claims for her assumption, although earlier church writers had made no mention of either assertion. Her immaculate conception was finally defined as a dogma of the church in 1854 and her assumption in 1950. Catholics are obliged to believe both teachings or incur mortal sin. But the rise of Mariology within Catholicism was just another example of the increasingly institutionalized church adapting pagan beliefs and practices. See “The Virgin” (1976) by historian Geoffrey Ashe for an examination of the pagan roots (mother goddess worship) of Mariology.
The Feast of the Assumption is a major holiday for Catholics and is often a “holy day of obligation” whereby Catholics are normally required to attend mass or they incur a mortal sin. However, because the Feast of the Assumption fell on a Monday this year, the U.S. bishops did not require Catholics to attend mass. To be frank, the bishops are having a hard enough time getting Catholics to attend obligatory mass on Sundays let alone the following day. Officially absolving parishioners from mandatory mass attendance yesterday saved the clergy the embarrassment of thousands of near-empty churches on a “holy day of obligation.”
I was listening to “Calling All Catholics” (Station of the Cross, 101.7 FM, Buffalo, NY) yesterday and “father” Jacek Mazur was bemoaning the fact that, in Poland, Mazur’s native country, Catholics are required to attend mass on the Feast of the Assumption no matter what day it falls on. He felt the U.S. bishops are too soft on their subjects and that the church needed to enforce a uniform policy worldwide.
I don’t believe Mary’s body was assumed into Heaven. Early church writers never bothered to mention such an important event. Why not? Because it never happened. Mary was a sinner like every person born on Earth and needed a Savior.
“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.'” – Luke 1:46-47
Mary is NOT the Mediatrix or the Co-Redemptrix. The Catholic church would have Mary share in the holy offices of Jesus Christ but Jesus is the ONLY Mediator and Jesus is the ONLY Redeemer. Catholics who read the New Testament for the first time are startled to find that Mary is barely mentioned in comparison to the immense honors, duties, and privileges she is accorded by the Catholic church. In fact, Jesus corrects those who would give Mary any special reverence or even worship:
“As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” – Luke 11:27-28
Catholic friend, Mary would be saddened by all the devotion and worship given to her by the Catholic church. Jesus Christ is the only Savior. Accept Him. There is no need to pray to Mary or the saints. Pray to Jesus Christ. Accept Him as your Savior.
From John MacArthur:
Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship: Catholic Dogma, Part 1
Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship: Catholic Dogma, Part 2