In his homily last Sunday, Bishop Ignacio Munilla of San Sebastian, Spain, discussed the declaration of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary 60 years ago. He affirmed that the teaching points out that the ultimate goal is the resurrection of body and soul and therefore is an antidote to beliefs in reincarnation.
During Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption, Bishop Munilla noted that Mary’s Assumption reminds us that death implicitly produces the separation of body and soul. At the same time, it underscores that the “faith in our resurrection at the end of time is the greatest characteristic of Christian hope.”
“After this life, we are called to participate in the eternal life of God with our entire being: body and soul. The redemption of Christ hasn’t only brought salvation to the spiritual dimension of being human, but also to the corporal dimension,” he recalled.
“Our goal is to arrive at the joy of God with all of our being, body and spirit, as the Virgin Mary has in advance. A good antidote to the belief in reincarnation, which is clearly incompatible with Biblical revelation, is found here,” he affirmed.
The bishop also explained that the belief in the Assumption of Mary did not originate with Pope Pius XII. Rather, he said, it is a Marian feast which was first celebrated in Jerusalem in the fifth century with the title, “The Dormition of Mary.” In the eighth century, it began to be known as the Assumption. As is the case on other occasions, popular faith and liturgical celebration preceded the Church’s declaration of dogma, the prelate explained.
Bishop Munilla invited Catholics to grow in faith and to make an effort to understand religious ideas such as dogmas, in order to avoid falling into “simplistic caricatures.”