August 22, 2015

Mary's Queenship

August 22, 2015:  Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

  • 'Mary' pin, 'crown' tie bar:  Queenship of Mary

  • 'Fruits' tie with vine:  You who walk in God's ways shall eat the fruit of your handiwork (psalm); your wife shall be like a fruitful vine (psalm)

  • 'Hand with raised fingers' pin:  "They lay burdens on people but won't lift a finger to move them" (gospel)

  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "They love places of honor at banquets" (gospel)

  • White and blue shirt:  white for Queenship of Mary memorial, plus "Blessed Mother blue"

  • Ru 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17  Naomi had a prominent kinsman named Boaz.  Ruth / Naomi:  “Let me glean grain.” / “Go,” and she went.  Boaz, to whom the section she entered belonged:  Don't leave here.  Watch to see which field is to be harvested, and follow my servants.  I heard what you did for your mother-in-law....”  They married, she bore a son, she became its nurse, neighbors named him Obed.  He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
  • Ps 128:1b-5  "See how the Lord blesses those who fear him."  You'll eat the fruit of your handiwork.  Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine, your children like olive plants around your table.
  • Mt 23:1-12  “The scribes and Pharisees are on the chair of Moses.  Do what they tell you, but don't follow their example.  They don't practice what they preach.  They lay heavy burdens on people but don't lift a finger to move them.  They do works to be seen.  They love places of honor and being called Rabbi.  Don't be called Rabbi; you have only one teacher.  Don't call anyone here your father; you have only one Father in heaven.  Don't be called ‘Master’; you have only one master, the Christ.  The greatest among you must be your servant.  Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Pope's corner
  • "According to ancient tradition and the sacred liturgy, the main principle on which the royal dignity of Mary rests is... her Divine Motherhood…  But the Blessed Virgin Mary should be called Queen, not only because of her Motherhood but also because God willed her to have an exceptional role in the work of our salvation."  "The purpose of the Feast is that all may recognize... and venerate...  the merciful and motherly sovereignty of her who bore God in her womb."  (Pius XII, Ad Cæli Reginam, which also set the date as today, the octave of Mary's Assumption)
      • Creighton:  Today’s readings, chosen for the weekday, fit well with the Queenship of Mary:  Ruth has a significant place in the genealogy of Jesus (her son = David's grandfather); she's in it because she chose to accompany Naomi to Bethlehem.  The genealogy celebrates Mary’s motherhood and Jesus’ sonship as the climax of the history of the chosen people.  The gospel suggests Mary and her Queenship; Jesus’ call to observe the Pharisees' teaching but not their practice is in line with Jesus' response to Lk 11:27:  “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”  Jesus told his disciples not to seek titles like Rabbi, Father, and Master; they're siblings and servants.  Mary called herself doulē, (slave girl, translated 'handmaid').  Pope Francis reminds us that titles are emblems of special tasks in service of the Church, not tokens of honor.  May we wear our titles lightly but take seriously the service they call us to.
      • One Bread One Body:  "How to make humble pie":   Jesus criticized religious leaders for their pride, the reason they were spiritually blind, fools, and hypocrites; he called them to humble themselves.  Jesus "humbled himself, obediently accepting even death on a cross!"  He wants to make our hearts like his.  God wants "a people humble and lowly."  The Lord commands us, "Clothe yourselves with humility...."  To do that, we should carry our crosses, choose the lowest place, bend our knees and lives at Jesus' name, repent, tremble as we read God's Word, forgive, apologize, serve, submit to others, and and be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger....
        Salus Populi Romani
      • Passionist:  In Davidic royal tradition, the King's mother holds a special place of honor and was known as the Queen Mother of Israel.  King Solomon to his mother:  "Make your request; I cannot refuse you anything."  Humble, devoted young Mary discovered through Gabriel that her son would be given David's throne.  If she consented, she'd bear this King in her womb and as Queen Mother would share his kingship and follow the example of her Son’s oversight with salvation, love, guidance, justice, compassion, and protection, as Queen of heaven and earth and Queen over our hearts.
      Perhaps a more recent image to think about Mary's queenship is the late “Queen Mum,” mother of Queen Elizabeth II, a kind, caring, happy mother whose only concern in her senior years was the nation's welfare and her children's happiness.  Mary watches over us, has powerful influence with her Son as she intercedes for us, and wishes us happiness and peace in union with her Son and with her.
      •  We want others to see us at our best, but God sees us as we are.  He warned the religious leaders, who drew attention to their status and practices, to teach and serve with humility.  They may have wanted to be good role models, but with misguided zeal they sought honor for themselves, not God, and made religious practice a burden, not a joy.  Respect for God leads to humble listening and obedience.  True humility isn't feeling bad about or having a low opinion of yourself.  It's seeing ourselves as God sees us; it frees us from preoccupation with ourselves and frees us to be ourselves, not putting on a facade to look good, not swayed by externals like fame.  "Whoever ministers with the divine word does not put himself forward to be called teacher, for he knows that when he performs well, it is Christ within him.  He should only call himself servant...." (Origen)  Humility is the queen of virtues because it enables us to see as God sees, be teachable, acquire true knowledge and wisdom, give ourselves to something greater than ourselves, love, and serve.  May I humbly love and serve as Jesus did...
      • 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.”
      • How big a crown?  Check out last year's post, where guest blogger Yvonne Huitron recalls that the City of Los Angeles, "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles" ("the town of Our Lady Queen of the Angels"), wears the crown of Mary.

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