Mary precedes the faithful into heaven, Pope says on Feast of the Assumption [CWN]

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary “is a great mystery that concerns each one of us; it concerns our future,” Pope Francis said during his August 15 Angelus address.

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Slightly confused by the Pope saying Mary precedes the faithful into Heaven and that she is the first to be received by His arms to be introduced into the Eternal Kingdom of the Father.

When Jesus died and went down to preach to those who had died before he walked the earth the righteous were allowed into Heaven. Also many of the Apostles went to Heaven and so did many other believers before Mary was assumed into Heaven.

She was the first to be received soul and body.

Technically Jesus was, though “received” might be a problem, given that the Kingdom really belonged to Him all along as the King.

Anyway, whenever I hear piety about the Blessed Virgin, especially of this sort, I think of John 14:2. Christ has prepared our places, rooms, and mansions for us. The Virgin has her room, and perhaps she is matron of the whole house and prepares it in her own way. Truly, all the saints prepare the eternal Kingdom for those who desire to come. It is a hierarchy of love.

:hmmm:

I suppose by some interpretations, the righteous ancestor of Noah, Enoch the Patriarch, could have ascended into Heaven.

Then Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him. (Genesis 5:24, NAB)

It is often presumed that he went into Heaven, but I suppose Scripture is quite vague:

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and “he was found no more because God had taken him.” Before he was taken up, he was attested to have pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5, NAB)

But then we have Jesus telling us that no man has been in Heaven, and He prophecies His ascension (John 3:12-16).

It all depends when Mary was assumed, though, because Stephen (the first martyr we know of) is known to have gone to Heaven, though not alive (he is a saint, too):

They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.

The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul.

As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”; and when he said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:58-60, NAB)

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