Monday, 22 August 2022 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we as the whole Church celebrates the feast of the Queenship of Mary, the ever Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Mary is truly a Queen, as is befitting her role as the Mother of our God and King, Jesus Christ, in Whom we believe in and put our trust in. Mary is the Queen of Heaven, the Queen of Angels, the Queen of All Saints, the Queen of Peace and the Queen of many other titles that had been bestowed on her in the previous centuries and ages. What matters is that we honour her and emulate her, and entrust ourselves to her.

Why do we consider Mary as Queen, brothers and sisters in Christ? Some skeptics and all those who misunderstood our veneration for the Blessed Mother of God may think that we have given excessive or undue honour or praise to her. Some saw Mary as no more than any ordinary human being. But how can we treat Mary in such a way? No matter what, Mary is the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Divine Word Incarnate, Son of God Who through Mary took up the human flesh and existence, and because Mary is the Mother of God Himself, she is therefore respected and honoured as is befitting for her as the Theotokos, the Mother of God.

Even since ages past, from the early days of the Church, there had been those who tried to dissociate Mary from her motherhood of the Divine Word Incarnate, because they believed that she was merely the Mother of Jesus the Son of Man, and therefore not special in any sense. However, through the deliberations, discussions and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Church and all the early Church fathers have agreed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Son of Man both, two Natures in one Person, united through an indivisible bond of perfect love. Although the two Natures are distinct, but they cannot be separated, and hence, Mary as the Mother of Christ, is the Mother of God.

That has been confirmed through the Ecumenical Councils, firstly in Nicaea and then Constantinople, and finally the Dogma of the Divine Motherhood of God or the Theotokos was finalised and approved at the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus. Through all these, the Church has solemnly formalised the teachings and the truth as preserved from the Lord Himself and through His Apostles, that Mary as the Mother of our Lord and Saviour, is indeed the Mother of God, our Lord and King, the King of all the whole entire Universe. As such, because our Lord is King, then His mother rightfully is a Queen by the virtue of her Son’s Kingship.

In the historic times, the mother of the king is always treated with great reverence, even if that mother was never a queen in her own right. Whenever the son of this mother became a king, then the mother automatically became the queen mother of the kingdom, and was a figure of great reverence and honour. In the kingdom of Israel, the mother of the king sat beside her son as king and gave important advice to him, and she was very highly respected not only by everyone in the kingdom but also by her own son, who was expected to show his filial piety to his mother. If that was the case during the old kingdom of Israel, then how can we not give the same honour and reverence to Mary, the Mother of our Lord and King?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, Mary has shown us not only her most loving Motherhood of her Son, but even more so, through her own virtues, her commitment to God and obedience to God’s will, she has shown us that she is truly worthy of all the veneration and the honour that we have given her. In fact, it honours a man or woman to see his or her mother being honoured and respected, and the same applies to the Lord and His mother Mary as well. If we honour Mary, and also emulate her examples, we honour and respect not only her but we also honour and glorify in even greater ways, her Son, our Lord and King.

We must realise that Mary as the Queen Mother of Heaven, the Queen of Angels and All the Saints, sitting close to the Throne of her Son in Heaven is truly our greatest ally in our journey towards her Son and His mercy and love. We have her in our struggle against sin and evil, as our Mother and guide, our loving mother who has always shown her tender care and compassion, and who has ever thought of us, reaching out to us patiently and calling on each and every one of us to embrace the mercy and forgiveness offered freely and generously by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, her Son. Through her, many had been saved and found their way to God and His salvation and grace.

Today, let us all therefore renew our commitment to the Lord through our renewed love and dedication to Him and also our honour and respect for His mother, Mary, our mother and Queen. Holy Mary, Mother of God, our Queen, the Queen of Heaven, Queen of All Saints, Queen of Angels and our role model and inspiration, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Monday, 22 August 2022 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 26-38

In the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

The Angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean. But the Angel said, “Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a Son, and you shall call Him Jesus. He will be great, and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the kingdom of David, His ancestor; He will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and His reign shall have no end.”

Then Mary said to the Angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” And the Angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the Holy Child to be born of you shall be called Son of God. Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child; and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible.”

Then Mary said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And the Angel left her.

Monday, 22 August 2022 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 112 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

Alleluia! Praise, o servants of YHVH, praise the Name of YHVH! Blessed be the Name of YHVH now and forever!

From eastern lands to the western islands, may the Name of YHVH be praised! YHVH is exalted over the nations; His glory above the heavens.

Who is like YHVH our God, Who sits enthroned on high, but also bends down to see on earth as in heaven?

He lifts up the poor from the dust and the needy from the ash heap. He makes them sit with princes, with rulers of His people.

Monday, 22 August 2022 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 9 : 1-6

The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light. A light has dawned on those who live in the land of the shadow of death. You have enlarged the nation; You have increased their joy. They rejoice before You, as people rejoice at harvest time as they rejoice in dividing the spoil.

For the yoke of their burden, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressors, You have broken it as on the day of Midian. Every warrior’s boot that tramped in war, every cloak rolled in blood, will be thrown out for burning, will serve as fuel for the fire.

For a Child is born to us, a Son is given us; the royal ornament is laid upon His shoulder, and His Name is proclaimed : “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

To the increase of His powerful rule in peace, there will be no end. Vast will be His dominion, He will reign on David’s throne and over all his kingdom, to establish and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onward and forever. The zealous love of YHVH Sabaoth will do this.