From the Pastor
20th Sunday in
Ordinary Time – A
August 20, 2017
In 1925, Pope Pius XI instituted the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, now celebrated on the last Sunday in Ordinary Time, to combat unhealthy levels of nationalism and secularism. In 1954, his successor, Pope Pius XII, extended this regal imagery with The
Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 22. This feast ‘crowns’ the octave or eighth-day of Mary’s Assumption
into heaven celebrated on August 15. However, honoring Christ’s Mother
as Queen is far from new, as we see in the four reasons Pope Pius XII gave for declaring her Queen. These four reasons form the basis for The Queenship of the BVM’s orations.
Collect – The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
O God, who made the Mother of your Son
to be our Mother and our Queen, graciously grant that, sustained by her intercession,
we may attain in the heavenly Kingdom
the glory promised to your children.
Through our Lord … for ever and ever. Amen.
THE QUEEN MOTHER.
All Marian doctrines are based on sacred
Scripture, and are focused on her Son. In the Annunciation the Archangel Gabriel said God would give Mary’s Son “… the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” [Luke 1:32b-33] In the Visitation Elizabeth called Mary “the mother of my Lord.” [1:43]
So the Bible clearly presents Mary as a Queen Mother who gave birth to Christ, who is King of kings and Lord of lords.
In the 300’s, Saint Ephrem [† 373]
called her ‘Our Lady’ and ‘Our Queen,’
which many Church Fathers continued to call her. From the 1200’s, hymns were composed that called her by this title, like the still popular ‘Hail, Holy Queen.’ As the Dominicans helped promote the Rosary, and Saint Philip Neri [† 1595] spread the custom of May Crownings, Mary’s ‘Queenship’ became even more popular. So the first two reasons we rightfully call her ‘Queen’
are one: the Bible
– and two: the Church’s ever-developing Tradition. The other two reasons are found in the next two orations: God the Father’s will and His grace.
Prayer over the Offerings – Queenship of the BVM
As we observe this Memorial of the
Blessed Virgin Mary, we bring you our offerings, O Lord, praying to be given strength
by the humanity of Christ,
who offered himself to you on the Cross
as the unblemished oblation.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
MARY’S UNIQUE BOND WITH HER SON. Pope Pius XII noted that we rightfully call her a ‘Queen’
because of the unique role she played by totally
accepting the Father’s will – and the gift of His grace. As noted above, she became a ‘Queen’ in her own right by giving birth to Christ the King … but God asked far more from her than that! As the New Eve, she shared personally, intimately, and more than anyone else did in her Son’s redeeming life and Death. From His infancy and childhood, ministry, and, above all, at the foot of His Cross, she ‘reigned’
with Jesus … long before He took her to His side in heaven.
And like other biblical women who gave birth to a king [i.e., Queen Bathsheba, wife of King David and mother of Solomon, who served as an advocate in Israel and Queen Esther, who risked her own life to save Israel] our ‘Queen’ has a role in our salvation. Seated by her Son, she intercedes for us … “now and at the hour of our death.”
Prayer after Communion – Queenship of the BVM
Having received this heavenly Sacrament,
we humbly pray, O Lord, that we, who reverently celebrate the Memorial
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may merit
to be partakers at your eternal banquet.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
OUR QUEEN IS ALSO OUR SISTER.
Many are confused by our Blessed Mother’s
role; some see her as regally equal to her Son; others deny her any special role other than motherhood. The Catholic Faith firmly teaches that as one of us, she shares in her Son’s royalty – albeit in a unique way – as we all hope to do in the Kingdom of her Son. Holy Mary, our Queen, pray for us!
In His holy Name,
Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS