August 22, 2014

Queenship of Mary

August 22, 2014:  Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

  • Ez 37:1-14  The Lord led me to a plain filled with bones.  How dry they were!...  They say, “Our bones are dry; our hope is lost.”  Tell them God says:  I'll have you rise from your graves and bring you back to Israel.  Then you'll know I'm the Lord!  I'll put my spirit in you that you may live.
  • Ps 107:2-9  "Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting."  The redeemed went astray and were wasting away.  They cried to God; he rescued them.  He filled the hungry with good things.
  • Mt 22:34-40  Pharisee / Jesus:  “Which commandment is the greatest?” / “Love the Lord with your heart, soul, and mind.  The second is like it:  love your neighbor as yourself.  The law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Pope Francis and Pope Pius XII
  • Salus Populi Romani  The day after his election, Pope Francis prayed in front of the icon of Mary.  The crowning of the icon, Salus Populi Romani by Pope Pius XII in 1954, proclaimed the Queenship of Blessed Virgin Mary.  Ad Caeli Reginam, "according to ancient tradition and the sacred liturgy the main principle on which the royal dignity of Mary rests is without doubt her Divine Motherhood…  But the Blessed Virgin Mary should be called Queen, not only because of her Divine Motherhood, but also because God has willed her to have an exceptional role in the work of our eternal salvation."
    • Creighton:  Ezekiel attacks the infidelity of Israel, but it fits today too.  Are my bones well connected but lacking life?  Only when we give the the Spirit free rein can we really live and receive what God has for us...
    • One Bread One Body:  After Ezekiel obeyed the Lord's command to prophesy, the bones came to life.  If we repent, obey, and fan the gift of the Spirit into a flame, we'll come alive...
    • Passionist:  Isaiah looks to the birth of a king to restore the line of David and save the people.  The mother of this King is a humble maidservant of the Lord.  Her 'yes' to God transformed her life to one of service to her Son and us all, drawing us lovingly to her Son.  She reigns as Queen, humble, gentle, and loving. 
    •  Jesus startled the Pharisees by distilling the law into love of God and love of neighbor.  God loved us first; our love is a response.  The more we know of God's love, the more we can love as he does.  Faith and hope strengthens us in our love.  The Spirit gives us freedom to love as Jesus did.  What's in the way of such love and generous service?
    • Universalis:  Besides Mary, we celebrate St. John Kemble, priest, missionary, Gunpowder plot martyr at 80:  “I die only for professing the old Catholic religion, the religion that first made this kingdom Christian.”
    • Sacred Space: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

    City of Los Angeles: Wearing the crown of Mary

    Living and working in Los Angeles, it is easy to overlook the obvious about the City of Angels. Specifically, it is the Town of Our Lady Queen of the Angels.  From its start, El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de Los Angeles is adorned with the crown of Mary!  Henry N. Cobb designed the Library Tower, now the US Bank building, with an illuminated glass crown.  While it's not liturgically illumined (Lakers colors are displayed when they are playing at home!), it stands in honor of the Queenship of Mary over Los Angeles.

    As I drive by and around LA and fly over it, I am always reminded of Mary's resounding fiat! Whether or not the inhabitants of Los Angeles are aware, Mary's love and intercession reign over the city offering the hope and promise of God's love.  It's not surprising that Los Angeles is a place where the imagination and soul can dare to dream and tell of the mystery of the Divine Spirit and our human experience. 

    I know Jim always includes his own apparel, but really, what could be more fitting than the city wearing the crown of Our Lady Queen of the Angels?

    Guest Blogger

    I hope Jim is enjoying some well-deserved rest.  Knowing what great care he takes with this blog, I accepted to contribute some thoughts today with much trepidation but with a willing spirit. 
    Yvonne Huitron with daughter 

    My experience of liturgy has profoundly nurtured and challenged every aspect of my life.  In moments of joy, celebration, tragedy, and loss, the sacred and ordinary are transformed to guide us in the way of love.  In celebrating the Queenship of Mary, so uniquely founded in the dignity of her motherhood, it is only fitting that I hold my daughter in my arms and imagine Mary's love, strength and resolve that we all know Jesus.  

    As I prayed with the student body at Our Lady of the Assumption on the Octave of their feast day, I know Mary's intercessions are at work in each of them and I am grateful that they know Jesus.

    This morning I went to mass filled with thanksgiving for the example of Mary as mother, wife, and daughter.  In all ways, submitting her entire soul to the call to be the Mother of God:  an unimaginable call.  Assuming the role of caretaker for all of us, only she can speak to the blessing, challenge, sorrow, and joy that mothering brought into her life.

    It saddens me that we do not hear the voices of mothers during our liturgies, especially during these Marian feasts.  What would we hear if we let them speak?  What wisdom would be shared from their silent struggles, worries, strength, triumphs, and joys?  As a daughter I understood motherhood from one perspective, but as a mother, I can say that the depth and breadth of understanding does not compare to walking in those steps. 

    So, I give thanks for all those who have mothered me and for all those I have mothered, especially my own child, because I have learned how to be loved and how to love beyond my own capacity.       

    Humbly offered,
    Yvonne Huitron

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