Monday, August 22, 2016

Hail Holy Queen

Feast of the Queenship of Mary
Gospel: Matthew 23:13-22 
August 21st -- the Olympics ended yesterday.
The United States won more bronze medals than anyone else.

The United States won more silver medals than anyone else.
The United States won more GOLD medals than anyone else.
The United States won more medals than anyone else: 121
That’s almost twice as many as the next runner up.
So what?

I fear the implicit message by that statistic goes something like this:
- we are the greatest, the best, and the most powerful
- we are first, we rank higher than anyone else in the world
- all other countries and their peoples are beneath us
- all others must strive to be like us
- we dominate, and we will dominate again.
Sounds like the very people Jesus was so angry about in today’s Gospel: blind guides, those who swear by the gold of the temple, hypocrites.

Let’s see ...  what was the last line of yesterday’s Gospel? Oh:  

 behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

August 22 – thank goodness today we celebrate the Queenship of Mary.
Her image and her feast celebrate a different message. The message she delivers as queen is more appropriate for the Christian life:
- mother of mercy, life, sweetness, hope.
- virgin of virgins
- sorrowful mother who walks with the poor
- faithful mother who never abandoned the Cross
- the first disciple and follower of Christ 

Mary serves as a leader and high priority not because she can outdo everyone else, but because she is a model of humility, service, and compassion.

As Jesus began his ministry and delivered the sermon on the mount, the beatitudes, blessed are the poor, the peacemakers, where do you think he learned all that?
Who do you think was his model for those who are meek, those who mourn, the pure of heart.
  Mary, Queen of Heaven.
In this coming Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus will announce:  "For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

Blessed is the Queen of Peace, who rewards us not with gold, but with her immaculate model for leadership.  Humility, fidelity, and grace.                      
Hail Mary, full of grace, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Amen!

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