Jesus tells us in John 12:26 that wherever He is, “there also will My servant be.” As we reflect on the Assumption, which we celebrated on Monday, we recall that Mary was the perfect servant of Christ, being conceived immaculately, without original sin, and so She was always with Him, contemplating the things of heaven as if She were there instead of on earth. And so upon Her death, She was taken up body and soul into heaven, fulfilling John 12:26 even through bodily assumption. She was given this privilege having been sinless just as Her Son was, although She was brought up to heaven through the power of God, not Her own power.
In the verses leading up to John 12:26, Jesus says that whoever loves his life in this world will lose it but whoever hates his life in this world will save it for eternal life. He also states that whoever wants to follow Him must take up his cross and deny himself. Thus, when He says, “Where I am, there also will My servant be,” He is talking about heaven. Of course we know that His servants will be there in reality with Him at the end of time, but the preceding verses seem to suggest that in this particular instance, He is referring to them being as though they were already in heaven with Him while still on earth. And in order to do this, one must take up their cross daily and follow Christ, and they must not value their life on earth more than eternal life. Looking at the events in our daily lives through the lens of eternal life means that we discern the opportunities given to us each day to carry our cross and follow Our Lord, not valuing what may happen in this life more than gaining our place in heaven with Christ. This helps us to put everything in perspective and acquire the virtues needed to accept our daily crosses and carry them as Our Lord carried His cross.
This is where Mary’s example comes into play. She was always focused on Our Lord, contemplating His will and the things of the world in light of heaven. She was always prudent and measured in the things She said, as at the Annunciation, and She always made sure to point others to Her Son, as evidenced by Her last words in Scripture, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). She shows us how to keep our gaze fixed on Jesus and look at the events in our lives in light of heaven as our destination. At the Annunciation, she asked the angel Gabriel how she was to conceive Jesus, since she did not know man (Luke 1:34). She had made a vow of virginity to God, and She did not want to break it, even if She was to become the Mother of His Son. We must look to Her example and ask Her intercession so that we too might seek only to do what pleases God in our lives, with our eyes always fixed on heaven, even if it means forgoing some honor or reward in this life.
Being in heaven with God has to begin in this life if we want to make it a reality in the next. Looking to Mary to help us achieve this will bring us closer and closer to God since She is always eager to help Her children fulfill God’s will and get to Him in heaven. Particularly during this month, the month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the month in which we celebrate Her Assumption, let us ask Her to assist us in focusing on nothing but Christ in this life, especially during trials, so that we may finally gain our reward, eternal life.