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Assuming the Transfiguration

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sermon for the Sunday in the Octave of the Assumption of Our Lady

What must it be like to be assumed into Heaven?

What do you think?


It's easier for us to picture Hell than it is Heaven. The reason is quite simple. All we ever know of our joys and happiness on this earth is fleeting. What we enjoy doing most either stops, becomes boring, or exhausts us. How can we imagine Heaven if all the joy we know fades away? Even memories of a happy time in our lives fade and leave us sad rather than happy.

Does this mean that Heaven is wishful thinking? Surely nothing exists just because we wish it into existence. That way lies magic and madness.


August gives us two reasons why we should believe that God wants us to be with Him Eternally. The first is the Feast of the Transfiguration in which Peter, James and John see something of the glory of God naked before them. For them the veil that stops us from seeing true reality is lifted and we see Him as He really is, or at least something that indicates to us that Our Lord is more than a man.

The second is a simple fact. Unlike any of the disciples, there are no relics of the body of Our Lady. Yes, our cathedral in Kent boasts a fragment of her veil, but there are simply no relics of her dead body in the Church. It points to a possibility, a hope, something we might choose not to believe. Perhaps, just perhaps the Church is right: Our Lady's body was taken to Heaven after her death so that she might not see corruption.

Remember, Our Lady is just human like us. There is no Divinity that she possesses like her son. While our bodies may die and corrupt, we still have a hope in God. If she can be assumed into Heaven, then Heaven is a fit place for human beings to be once they are made perfect by God. If human beings can be allowed to catch a glimpse big God's true glory, if we can be allowed to gaze upon His face in Our Lord Jesus, then we can do something more than we can imagine.

The Transfiguration of Our Lord and the Assumption of Our Lady together point to the possibility of Eternity with God for all human beings who will believe in Christ - in His Incarnation, Death upon the Cross, Resurrection and Ascension. Together, they point to our bodies being freed from their aches and pains, our hearts free from guilt and sorrow, our eyes free from tears and blindness, and our souls free from sin and death that we may indeed dwell with God forever in joy truly unimaginable.


Let the world deride or pity us for our "naive" hope and wishful thinking. That world will only corrupt and pass away . We can see that happening before our very eyes. If we believe God, then we do know the truth which will set us free to be with Him in Eternity.

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