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 (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Revelations 11 : 19a and Revelations 12 : 1-6a, 10ab

Then, the Sanctuary of God, in the heavens, was opened, and the Ark of the Covenant of God could be seen inside the Sanctuary.

A great sign appeared in heaven : a woman, clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant, and cried out in pain, looking to her time of delivery.

Then, another sign appeared : a huge, red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and wearing seven crowns on its heads. It had just swept along a third of the stars of heaven with its tail, throwing them down to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman, who was about to give birth, so that, it might devour the Child as soon as It was born.

She gave birth to a male Child, the One Who is to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre; then, her Child was seized, and taken up to God, and to His throne, while the woman fled to the desert, where God had prepared a place for her. Then, I heard a loud voice from heaven : Now has salvation come, with the power and the kingdom of our God.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018 : 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, today we celebrate the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, together as the whole Universal Church. This date is exactly one week after the important Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and we can see that the two events commemorated by the Church are truly related to each other.

In the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we commemorate Mary’s glorious Assumption into heaven, by the will and power of her Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, with the Father and the Holy Spirit. In the Assumption, we remember Mary, who was conceived without the taints of sin, original sin or any other forms of sin, to be a worthy vessel to bear the New Covenant and God Himself in her womb.

And if Mary bore the Lord Jesus within her, she is the Ark of the New Covenant and the Ark of God. And because God is so holy and powerful, nothing impure or sinful could have been in the vessel He has chosen specially for this purpose. That was why Mary was conceived without sin and remained so, according to the teachings of the Church, throughout her life.

Now, Mary has therefore been assumed to heaven, to enjoy the glory prepared for her by her own Son, the King of kings and Lord of all lords. And as the mother of the King, she indeed is a Queen, following the custom and precedents of the ancient kingdom of Israel and Judah. For example, David, the famous King of Israel, had his mother sit at his side as the Queen Mother of the kingdom.

The position of the Queen Mother was tied to the kingship of the son of the Queen Mother, such that even if the Queen Mother was just a commoner and not born of royal bloodline, but she is nonetheless regarded as a Queen and a royal in all of its rights, privileges and powers. Mary therefore enjoy the same position and privilege for her Son, Jesus Christ, is the one True King of all.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s feast of the Queenship of Mary commemorates this glory which Mary, as the mother of our God and King has attained, crowned by her own Son, to be honoured above all other creation. She is the first and finest of all those who were created, and her shining example and glory become inspiration for each and every one of us mankind.

First of all, the glory which Mary received is a premonition and revelation of what we all shall receive in the end, if we choose to remain true to our faith and be faithful to Our God. We are children of the King, having been adopted by the virtue of our baptism, becoming God’s own sons and daughters. Therefore, we too shall merit the crown of glory promised by the Lord to all who are faithful to Him.

And then, having Mary as Queen, the ever beloved and blessed Queen Mother of heaven, she is always ever by the side of her Son, beside His Throne in heaven. She is therefore the greatest and most blessed among all the saints and holy men and women of God. No one else has the same honour and glory, and the same privileged position which Mary has, as her Son’s closest confidant.

We must remember what happened during the time when the Lord Jesus performed His very first miracle in Cana, during a wedding ceremony when the couple ran out of wine. Knowing that the couple were in a great trouble, Mary came up to her Son and asked Him to step in and help them. And even though He initially evaded her request by stating that it was not yet His time, He did listen to her plea, made for the sake of the wedding couple, and performed the miraculous deeds nonetheless.

This is what each and every one of us should keep in mind, as we turn towards God through His mother, Mary. Mary indeed is the way that God has blessed us with, to be our help and intercessor before Him. Through Mary, Queen of Angels, Queen of All Saints, and Queen of Heaven, we have received bountiful graces from God, Who listens to His mother, and therefore, turns towards us with love and compassion.

Let us all therefore renew our commitment to live in greater faith, to dedicate ourselves ever more wholeheartedly to the Lord, by imitating Mary, His beloved mother, that in all the things we say and do, we will follow the obedience and the great faith which Mary has shown to us. Let us all ask her to intercede for us all sinners, now and always, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018 : 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.