Thursday, 22 August 2019 : 20th 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, on this day we celebrate together the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a full seven days after the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, celebrating the glorious queenship of the Mother of God, as the Queen of Heaven, and also as her many other titles suggest, as Queen of Angels, as Queen of All Saints, and as Queen of Peace and Queen Mother.

Mary is Queen not because of her own power or inheritance, but because of her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who was in her womb for nine months and was born from her, a virgin and humble woman of the small and poor village of Nazareth. Mary is Queen because her Son is King, the King of Kings and the true King of Israel, the Heir of David and Solomon, and also the King of the entire Universe by virtue of His being the Creator of the whole universe and the world.

It is very important for us to take note and to keep in mind this nature of Mary’s queenship and the great honours we always give to her because of her special place within our faith and within the Lord’s plan of salvation. We do not honour Mary because of her own greatness or power, and neither do we treat her like a divine being or a goddess, as what some would have accused us of doing because of their misunderstanding.

Instead, we honour Mary as a special person, being and a glorious Queen because we honour, adore and worship her Son, as our one and only True God and King. In many ancient traditions and kingdoms, in many nations and peoples, the mother of the king has a very important position, as the queen mother of the nation. And the queen mother does not have to be born into royalty or be descended from royalty. Her great honour comes from her son who is the king.

And the queen mother has a special position and being revered by many in the whole country, as in the Scripture, in the Book of Kings, we can see how Solomon placed his mother Bathsheba at his right hand, sitting on a throne by his side, and he often asked his mother for advice and inputs in how he ought to make decisions and reign as a king. It was truly a great honour that Solomon as king has given to his mother.

Therefore, if kings and rulers of this world have honoured their mothers as such, and if we ourselves love and honour our own mothers, how can our Lord Jesus not honour His own mother? That is why, we all believe fervently that Mary is truly honoured as the Queen Mother of Heaven, as the glorious Queen of Angels and all Saints because she truly sits at the side of her Son in heaven, beside His Throne, a special honour reserved only for her.

And just one week ago as I have mentioned earlier today, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, when we celebrate the moment Mary was assumed or taken up in the whole body and spirit up from this world into heaven. Therefore, we believe that Mary is now in heaven, glorified by her Son and reigning as Queen by His side, and becoming for us our greatest intercessor, as the greatest and most honoured among the saints.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us should really be thankful that we have Mary as someone whom we can trust and rely on, as the one through whom our prayers and thoughts can be brought to, our petitions which she will pass on to her Son. That is why so many people have strong devotion to Mary, because not only that she is truly close to her Son, but even more so because she is also our mother just as she is the mother of Our Lord and Saviour.

From the cross, Our Lord has entrusted His own mother to us as our own mother when He entrusted her to St. John the Apostle, who represents the Church symbolically. And in the same manner, just as He also entrusted St. John to Mary as her own son, therefore Our Lord has entrusted us all, His beloved people to be the beloved children of His own mother, Mary. That is why Mary has always loved us all just as she has loved her Son with all of her heart.

She has done so much in trying to bring us closer to her Son, in her numerous Apparitions, in Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima among many others, imploring all those who have seen her to spread the message of God’s truth and for the repentance of sinners. She has shown us all the love shown by a mother to her children, as she wants us all to be saved and not to be condemned and be separated from her or her Son.

Now, what are we going to do about this then, brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we going to appreciate what Mary has done for us, in her ceaseless intercession and prayers for our sake? We have the Queen Mother of Heaven herself by our side, and what we need to do is to keep on praying and to try our best to do what she has asked us to do, and that is to turn towards her Son, Our Lord and Saviour with faith.

O Mary, Queen of Heaven, Queen of Angels and Queen of All Saints, most glorious Queen and Mother of God, pray for us all sinners always, that we may draw ever closer to your Son, and be reconciled from all of our sins and unworthiness. We thank you for your constant love and intercession, o dear Mother most beloved. Pray for us always and guide us always to your Son. Amen.

Thursday, 22 August 2019 : 20th 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.

Thursday, 22 August 2019 : 20th 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.

Thursday, 22 August 2019 : 20th 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.

Thursday, 15 August 2019 : Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 39-56

Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb.

Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit, and giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your womb! How is it that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!”

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour! He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed.”

“The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name! From age to age His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.”

“He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned home.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 11 : 27-28

At that time, as Jesus was speaking, a woman spoke from the crowd and said to Him, “Blessed is the one who gave You birth and nursed You!”

Jesus replied, “Truly blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it as well.”

Tuesday, 16 July 2019 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Matthew 11 : 20-24

At that time, Jesus began to denounce the cities in which He had performed most of His miracles, because the people there did not change their ways.

“Alas for you Chorazin and Bethsaida! If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I assure you, for Tyre and Sidon; it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.”

“And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? You will be thrown down to the place of the dead! For if the miracles which were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would still be there today! But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Alternative reading (Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Matthew 12 : 46-50

At that time, while Jesus was talking to the people, His mother and His brothers wanted to speak to Him, and they waited outside. So someone said to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside; they want to speak with You.”

Jesus answered, “Who is My mother? Who are My brothers?” Then He pointed to His disciples and said, “Look! Here are My mother and My brothers. Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”