Our Life, Our Sweetness, Our Hope . . . Our Queen
"To serve the Queen of Heaven is already to reign there, and to live under her commands is more than to govern." ~ Saint John Vianney
There are many who are enthralled by Britain’s Royal Family, this we know by virtue of the seemingly endless media coverage that they garner. The history, the pomp, the regality, and of course the opulence, particularly as it relates to the Queen, is what draws so many to the spectacle that is royalty.
I on the other hand find it all to be rather stodgy, self-serving, vapid, sanctimonious....at times downright silly; I attribute these thoughts to my burgeoning love for our Holy Mother Mary, the Queen who resides not merely over a rainy, dreary, once dominant island nation, but over God’s Eternal Heavenly Kingdom. Today the church pauses to reflect upon Our Blessed Mother’s Queenship, a reign the likes of which our world has never seen. A reign that will have no end.
Mary’s Queenship is one cloaked in the robe of humility and selflessness, unceasing prayer and tireless intercession for her beloved children her scepter. A Queen who by her very essence serves her servants. Virtually unheard of throughout the course of history.
Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, a man renowned for his devotion to Mary, explains that “Mary has the authority over the angels and the blessed in heaven. As a reward for her great humility, God gave her the power and mission of assigning to saints the thrones made vacant by the apostate angels who fell away through pride. Such is the will of the almighty God who exalts the humble, that the powers of heaven, earth and hell, willingly or unwillingly, must obey the commands of the humble Virgin Mary. For God has made her queen of heaven and earth, leader of his armies, keeper of his treasure, dispenser of his graces, mediatrix on behalf of men, destroyer of his enemies and faithful associate in his great works and triumphs.”
In many respects, Jephthah’s daughter in today’s 1st Reading (Judges 11:29-39) emulates many of the attributes of Mary. Having made a misguided vow to God that he would sacrifice the first person who greets him upon his presumably victorious return from battle, it was Jephthah’s daughter ~ his only child no less ~ who would indeed find herself in the proverbial wrong place at the wrong time. Not one to flee her fate thereby placing her father in the untenable position of breaking his vow to God, she succumbs willingly to her father so that he may fulfill his imprudent promise. “Father, you have made a vow to the Lord. Do with me as you have vowed, because the Lord has wrought vengeance for you on your enemies the Ammonites." Upon asking her father for two months so that she may go off to the mountains to mourn her virginity with her companions, a request that Jephthah granted her, she promptly returns to her father where she would meet her tragic fate.
Make no mistake; the hero in this story is not the mighty warrior Jephthah, who slew the Ammonite ~ among many others, 19 tribes to be precise ~ thus rendering these fallen foes subject to the Israelites. No, it was indeed Jephthah’s daughter, who selflessly and courageously accepted her fate out of love for her father. Our Blessed Mother exhibits the same love and fortitude in offering herself as the handmaid of the Lord (Luke 1:26-38).
The title of Queen in no way, shape or form detracts or replaces Mary’s title as Mother. Her Queenship is a direct and natural consequence of her maternal mission and merely expresses the power bestowed upon her to carry out that mission. Of her Queenship, Saint John Paul II said “Popular devotion invokes Mary as Queen. The Council, after recalling the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in “body and soul into heavenly glory,” explains that she was “exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (Rev 19:16) and conqueror of sin and death.”
Mary is the Queen who gives all that she possesses, participating above all in the life and love of her beloved son.
“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.”
......pray for us, dear Holy Mother of God; that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.