On the face of it, Mary’s Assumption, body and soul, into heaven, is one of the most challenging traditions of the Church. One of my seminary professors loved to say that, for him, the Assumption was just too much of an assumption. It certainly presents a unique obstacle to many of our Protestant brethren. And this is in large part because the event does suggest, in a strange way, that the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus wasn’t enough, that there had to be something more.
The Ascension is a real departure and a real exaltation into the heavens. At the same time, we are sure that his body is present with us in mysteries and sacraments: in Eucharist and Baptism, in the gathered church, in particular saints.