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Sunday:       Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Date:         August 22, 2016.
Year:         C
The readings: [Judges 11:29-39; Mt. 22:1-14]
The message:  The origin of the Queen Mother.
Prepared by:  Catholic Doors Ministry
Total words:  1050

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** The readings follow the sermon.

Eight days ago, we were celebrating the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Today, we are commemorating another beautiful Marian Feast, that of the Queenship of Mary. This special Liturgical Feast was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII on October 11, 1954 through his Encyclical Letter "Ad Caeli Reginam."

The Holy Catholic Church made this proclamation in view of the fact that throughout its history, whether in time of peace or in time of war, the faithful have continuously addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. Following the tremendous destruction that occurred during World War II and considering the reality that the threat of a similar catastrophe filled the faithful with a great anguish, the Church turned its eyes towards Mary, the Heavenly Queen, in the hope of her protection.

Keeping in mind that worldwide devotion to Mary continued to be very popular, including in Fatima, to bring the Year of Mary to a happy and beneficial conclusion, and in response to petitions that were received in Rome from all over the world, the Church considered that it was appropriate to institute the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen. Through this proclamation, it was not the intent of the Church to proclaim a new truth.

"From early times Christians have believed, and not without reason, that she of whom was born the Son of the Most High received privileges of grace above all other beings created by God. He 'will reign in the house of Jacob forever,' [Lk. 1:32] 'the Prince of Peace,' [Is. 9:6] the 'King of Kings and Lord of Lords.' [Rev. 19:16] And when Christians reflected upon the intimate connection that obtains between a mother and a son, they readily acknowledged the supreme royal dignity of the Mother of God." (Ad Caeli Reginam; # 8)

"Hence it is not surprising that the early writers of the Church called Mary 'the Mother of the King' and 'the Mother of the Lord,' basing their stand on the words of St. Gabriel the archangel, who foretold that the Son of Mary would reign forever, [Lk. 1:32-3] and on the words of Elizabeth who greeted her with reverence and called her 'the Mother of my Lord.' [Lk. 1:43] Thereby they clearly signified that she derived a certain eminence and exalted station from the royal dignity of her Son." (Ad Caeli Reginam; # 9)

According to ancient tradition and the sacred liturgy the main principle on which the royal dignity of Mary rests is without doubt her Divine Motherhood. In Holy Writ, concerning the Son whom Mary will conceive, we read this sentence: 'He shall be called the Son of the most High, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father, and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end,' [Lk. 1:32-3] and in addition Mary is called 'Mother of the Lord'; [Lk. 1:43] from this it is easily concluded that she is a Queen, since she bore a son who, at the very moment of His conception, because of the hypostatic union of the human nature with the Word, was also as man King and Lord of all things. So with complete justice St. John Damascene could write: 'When she became Mother of the Creator, she truly became Queen of every creature.' [S. Ioannes Damascenus, De fide orthodoxa, 1. IV, c. 14; PL XCIV, 1158 s. B.] Likewise, it can be said that the heavenly voice of the Archangel Gabriel was the first to proclaim Mary's royal office." (Ad Caeli Reginam; # 34)

To understand the Queenship (queen mother) of Mary as the mother of Jesus as the eternal King, it is necessary to know Jewish history. First of all, it must be shown that Jesus was born of royal family. This proof is found in the following Biblical passages. "And Jesse the father of King David. And David was the father of Solomon." [Mt. 1:6] "So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generation." [mt. 1:17] "Jesus was the son (as was thought) of Joseph son of Heli, [Lk. 3:23] son of David, [Lk. 3:31] son of Adam..."[Lk. 3:38] "These are the words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David." [Rev. 3:7] "Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered..." [Rev. 5:5] "On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, 'King of kings and Lord of lords.'" [Rev. 19:16] "I am the root and descendant of David." [Rev. 22:16]

Reviewing Jewish history, it is learned that the institution of the "queen mother" was established during the reign of King Solomon. In the Old Testament, we find the following words, "King Solomon had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat on his right." [1 Kgs 2:19] Many of the kings who succeeded King Solomon kept this practice. The mother of the king, through who the king received his throne, was trusted as a confident and advisor. So important was the function of the queen mothers in the days of the Old Testament that their names were listed in the succession records of the kings of Judah. [1 Kgs 14:21, 15:13; 2 Kgs. 12:1, 14:2, 15:2, etc...] In one instance of the Jewish history, we find that when the king died, the queen mother ruled for a time. [2 Kgs. 11:1-3]

Considering the fact that Jesus was a descendant of the House of David in which it was the practice of the mother of the king to sit at the right hand of the king as the Queen mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, being the mother of Jesus, is entitled by tradition to sit at the right hand of the Lord Jesus in His eternal Kingdom, she rightfully having inherited the honour and title of Queen Mother as the mother of Jesus who is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

This summarizes why we as Catholics proudly call the Blessed Virgin Mary our Queen and why the Holy Mother Church, in its inspired wisdom, has officially proclaimed this glorious honour.

The readings...

[The readings were taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (C) 1989 Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the United States of America.]

"The spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthat, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh. He passed on the Mizpath of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he passed on to the Ammonites. And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, “If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return victorious from the Ammonites, shall be the Lord’s, to be offered up by me as a burnt offering.”

So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them; and the Lord gave them into his hand. He inflicted a massive defeat on them from Aroer to the neighborhood of Minnith, twenty towns, and as far as Abel-keramim. So the Ammonites were subdued before the people of Israel.

Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah; and there was his daughter coming out to meet him with timbrels and with dancing. She was his only child; he had no son or daughter except her. When he saw her, he tore his clothes, and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low; you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and I cannot take back my vow.”

She said to him, “My father, if you have opened your mouth to the Lord, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, now that the Lord has given you vengeance against your enemies, the Ammonites.” And she said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me: Grant me two months, so that I may go and wander on the mountains, and bewail my virginity, my companions and I.”

“Go,” he said and sent her away for two months. So she departed, she and her companions, and bewailed her virginity on the mountains. At the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her according to the vow he had made." [Judges 11:29-39]

Gospel Reading...

"Once more Jesus spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables, saying: 'The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come.

Again he sent other slaves, saying, 'Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.' But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.

Then he said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone. Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and the king said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?' And he was speechless.

Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen.'" [Mt. 22:1-14

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