Tuesday, 22 August 2017 : 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 mark the feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This is exactly one week after the great Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into heaven, and is a reaffirmation of the special status which Mary has in the history of salvation and in the history of this world and mankind.

For there is no greater human being than Mary, as although she remained a mere human being, but because of her great piety and her great humility, and ultimately because she has allowed herself to become the vessel of God’s salvation, obediently allowing God to perform His great works through her, she has become the mother of our God and Saviour.

As I have mentioned during the Solemnity of the Assumption, Mary was granted the singular honour amongst all other men and women, for she was lifted up bodily and soul into the glory of heaven, for she has borne the Saviour of the world, Who saved all mankind from sin and death, and therefore, it is only right that He would also save her as well.

And we all believe that Mary is now in the glory of heaven, seated at the side of her Son, the King and ruler of Heaven and all the universe. And if in the history long past, the mother of a king is considered a queen, by the virtue of the kingship of her son, even if she herself was not a royalty or noble by birth, then the same should have also applied for the case of Mary.

If she is the mother of the King of Heaven and all the Universe, then by that virtue also, she has been made a queen. And therefore rightly she had been granted the following titles by the Church, that of the Queen of Heaven, the Queen of Angels, the Queen of All Saints and the Queen of Peace, amongst many others. We honour her because of her Son, our Lord and King, and certainly just as when a king’s mother is honoured, the king is also honoured, then it is the same case with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

And to us, Mary has a special place in our faith, because she is the greatest and first among all the saints, the holy men and women of God. She is the one closest to her Son in heaven, and as she has proven from time to time, in her various apparitions, she is always constantly thinking about each and every one of us, mankind, as she is our mother who cares for us, just as she cared for her Son, Jesus. Jesus our Lord Himself has entrusted us to her from the cross, as He laid there dying to fulfil the salvation He promised to us mankind.

Mary is our greatest intercessor, and she is always pleading for our sake, that God may have mercy on us. She has shown us all the examples of how to be faithful and obedient to the will of God, and by following her examples, we will be able to draw closer to her Son, and thus will be worthy to receive His salvation and eternal glory. And through her various apparitions, Mary always reminded us mankind to seek her Son and to repent from our sinful ways.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as today we rejoice in Mary, our mother and Queen, let us all ask for her intercession, that she will continue to pray for our sake, and implore her Son to forgive us our trespasses, that through her words and intercession, God may be moved to guide us to the path towards righteousness. And then, let us also strive to do our best to imitate the examples of Mary in faith, that we may learn to give ourselves completely and dedicate our whole being to the Lord.

May the Lord bless us always, and remain with us, and may through the intercession of His blessed mother Mary, Queen of Heaven, Queen of All Saints, Queen of Angels, Queen of Peace, and through the intercession of all the other holy saints and martyrs, all of us may be brought ever closer to God’s love and grace, and be forgiven from our sins when we repent with sincerity and commitment to live a new life filled with faith. Amen.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 : 20th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 26-38

At that time, in the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God, to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a 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.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 : 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.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 : 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.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 : 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.

Monday, 22 August 2016 : 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 commemorate together the feast of the Queenship of Mary, ever-virgin, the mother of God. We celebrate she whom God has appointed to great honour, as the Queen of Heaven, as the Queen of All Saints and as the Queen of Angels, in accordance to her position as the mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, and thus, being the Mother of God, merit to be the honoured persona in the kingdom of God.

Some of us may think that such attribution of honour is excessive and unnecessary. Indeed, critics of the faith and the Church had attacked us based on the honour and the praise which we have heaped on Mary, the praises we have sung of her, and all that we have asked her to intercede for our sake, that God may hear us through her prayers.

But that was because they failed to grasp and understand the reality of who Mary is and how significant is her life and actions to all of us. Mary is not just like any other woman or as any other human beings in that she has been chosen out of many to be the bearer of the Saviour bearing the salvation which God had promised His people ever since the beginning of time.

Firstly, Mary was conceived without sin, to prepare for her role as the Ark of the New Covenant, to bear the new Covenant of God with mankind, that is in Jesus Christ her Son. But even more importantly, she carried herself with proper decorum and act in accordance to what is expected of all the children and all the followers of the Lord.

That said, we did not elevate her to be a deity or a goddess over us, to be worshipped and adored as the pagans had done. She gained that great honour not by her own virtue or power, but because her Son is the Lord and King and Master of all the universe, the Lord of heaven and earth, so therefore it is just to call her a Queen. If a king’s mother is called the queen mother, then by the same argument, it is just to call Mary the Queen of Heaven, of All Saints, and of Angels.

In Mary, we see a great example to be adapted as our own. After all, her devotion to God and her obedience are things we can also adapt in our own lives. She listened to the Lord even when she was unsure and had doubts about what the Archangel Gabriel had told her that she would become the mother of the Son of God Most High and Saviour of the world, but she pressed on nonetheless, and did all she could in order to care for Jesus throughout His life.

And as God rewarded Mary with the glory of heaven, as we celebrated the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin just last Sunday, over a week ago, we see in her the fulfilment of the promise which God had told us mankind since so long ago. In her we see our eventual triumph against the forces of evil and darkness, the triumph and victory we will experience if we are faithful to God to the end, against the bondage to sin and wickedness, which had so far separated us from the Lord and His love.

As we celebrate the feast of the Queenship of Mary on this day, let us also take some time to look deep within ourselves, and see how we have lived our lives all these while. Have we been faithful to the Lord in the way that she had been faithful? Or have we instead walked the path of rebelliousness and stubborn refusal to repent from our sins?

The choice is ours, brethren, for us to choose between following God and seeking His forgiveness or to move away from Him, turn ourselves away from His mercy and instead embrace the tempting ways of this world. Shall we now not be worried or be hesitant any longer, but devote ourselves anew to the Lord, and walk forevermore in His ways from now on?

Let us seek the help of our beloved Queen, Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. May she be our greatest help and intercessor, praying for our sake to her Son at all times. Pray for us, o Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven, of All Saints and of all Angels, our role model in faith. Amen.

Monday, 22 August 2016 : 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.