Today we honor Mary for being bodily taken up to heaven, even though we do not know what that means. We no longer picture the heaven of the saints as being “up there” above the clouds, because that is where we man the space station with the Russians.
Europe is proud of possessing the burial places of the Apostles. Peter and Paul are in Rome. James is in Santiago, Spain. Scotland claims Andrew. Some Apostles were divided up with an arm here and a leg there, but no town ever claimed to be Mary’s resting place. Genesis calls death and the corruption that follows it a punishment for our sins. The sinless Mary did not undergo them.
But, just as we can no longer imagine Mary’s body being taken up to a heaven just above the clouds, so neither can we imagine her body to be enduring with an earthly need of nourishment. It doesn’t undergo any kind of aging. It is best for us to try imagining her as being the way Paul described things to the Corinthians.
“God gives a body as he chooses. It is sown corruptible, it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable, it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.”
Setting aside August 15 as Mary's feast day gives us a day when we can spend lovingly with Mary our Mother.