Canon Anthony is on retreat so we have a reflection from Father John Howard:
On the 22nd of August was the memorial called ‘The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary’. We didn’t celebrate that this year because the 22nd of August fell on a Sunday, and we don’t celebrate a memorial when they fall on a Sunday.
I like the title of Mary as Queen, so it came to mind as a good topic for a short reflection. A reason why we call Mary Queen is that we call Jesus King. In Jewish tradition, it is not the wife of the King that is called the Queen but the Kings mother. For a fuller description of this, you could look at Brant Pitre’s book and audiobook ‘Jesus and the Jewish roots of Mary’ or search for him on YouTube, and you’re likely to find a video of him explaining the topic.
One role of a Queen in Jewish tradition and ours is of intercessor. This should give us the confidence to ask Mary to intercede for us. At seminary, we would often pray to Mary as Queen of the Clergy. As a seminarian and now as a priest, I entrust myself to her. I do this because, as Queen of heaven and earth, she is the most powerful intercessor.
I also entrust myself to her because without the crucifixion of Jesus, where Jesus offers himself as priest and victim, there would be no priesthood of the New Testament. Mary, the mother of Jesus, standing at the foot of the cross, is the human who felt the greatest pain of the crucifixion. She is also the human that knows and loves Jesus the most. Therefore, she is the most excellent guide for me as to what it means to be a priest and how to be a priest, for the priesthood is not a thing but a person, the person of Jesus.
From the moment of his conception, Jesus was entrusted to Mary. As a newborn, Jesus’ reliance and trust in Mary was not a partial entrustment but total. As a Jew and so faithful to the fourth commandment, Jesus was and is forever honouring his mother.
As Christ entrusted himself totally to Mary, so I strive to do the same. As Christ honoured his mother, so I strive to do the same. Just as Christ’s Kingship was veiled and hidden while on earth, so was Mary’s Queenship.
In hope and joy, I look forward to seeing Mary’s Queenship revealed in all its rightful majesty, splendour and glory in heaven. Mary Queen of Heaven and the Glory of all the saints – pray for us.