Posted by: Thomas Richard | August 22, 2018

The Memorial of the Queenship of Mary

The Memorial of the Queenship of Mary

author: Deborah Mary Richard

Today, Aug. 22, is the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary. The First Reading for Mass today is taken from the Prophet Ezekiel to the “bad shepherds of Israel.” In these days of crisis for the Catholic Church, facing the terrible “cover-up” scandals involving predatory priests and bishops, it is a sobering passage from Sacred Scripture. I hope every priest, deacon and especially bishops and the Pope hear deeply God’s Word today, for they are successors to the shepherds of Israel and the Word of God is for all of us who have ears to hear:

Reading 1 – EZ 34:1-11

The word of the Lord came to me:  Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel,
in these words prophesy to them, to the shepherds:

Thus says the Lord GOD:
Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves!
Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep?
You have fed off their milk, worn their wool, and slaughtered the fatlings,
but the sheep you have not pastured.You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick
nor bind up the injured.You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost,
but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally.

So they were scattered for the lack of a shepherd,and became food for all the wild beasts.
My sheep were scattered and wandered over all the mountains and high hills;
my sheep were scattered over the whole earth,
with no one to look after them or to search for them.

Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
As I live, says the Lord GOD,
because my sheep have been given over to pillage,
and because my sheep have become food for every wild beast, for lack of a shepherd;
because my shepherds did not look after my sheep, but pastured themselves
and did not pasture my sheep; because of this, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:

Thus says the Lord GOD:
I swear I am coming against these shepherds.
I will claim my sheep from them and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep
so that they may no longer pasture themselves. I will save my sheep,
that they may no longer be food for their mouths.

For thus says the Lord GOD:
I myself will look after and tend my sheep.

Responsorial Psalm (from Psalm 23)

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Only goodness and kindness will follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

This Responsorial Psalm for today is beautiful.  The “Good Shepherd Psalm” reminds us:  “The Lord is My Shepherd” .  Jesus is The Shepherd who looks after and tends His Sheep. He calls His Church, Clergy and People, to follow Him – as Mary, His mother and our Mother did on this earth.

Today’s Gospel (from Mt. 20:1 – 16) is an encouragement for all.  Whether we opened ourselves to God’s Grace early in our lives or late, it is finishing the race well that is most important.  While we have time, let us “Behold our Mother” as Jesus told us from His Cross.  Today let us listen to Him, as Mary pondered His Word and as she told the servants of Cana:  “Do whatever He tells you”.  Humility is essential if we want to hear truly!

How Providential then that we celebrate today, this Memorial of Mary as Queen!  Jesus wants us to see in Mary the Model for each human person to become holy as He is Holy.  St. Louis de Montfort, among many of the Saint-Champions of Jesus and Mary, helps us to to understand how important Mary is in God’s Plan.  In his treatise True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin,  St. Louis encourages us all toward holiness.  This holy priest wrote: 

“…in order to empty ourselves of self, we must die daily to ourselves. This involves our renouncing what the powers of the soul and the senses of the body incline us to do. We must see as if we did not see, hear as if we did not hear, and use the things of this world as if we did not use them. This is what St. Paul calls “dying daily”. 

Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain and does not bear any good fruit. If we do not die to self and if our holiest devotions do not lead us to this necessary and fruitful death, we shall not bear fruit of any worth and our devotions will cease to be profitable. All our good works will be tainted by self-love and self-will so that our greatest sacrifices and our best actions will be unacceptable to God. Consequently when we come to die we shall find ourselves devoid of virtue and merit and discover that we do not possess even one spark of that pure love which God shares only with those who have died to themselves and whose life is hidden with Jesus Christ in Him. .. ” (Emphasis is mine)

 

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your Faithful.
Kindle in us, the Fire of Your Love.
Jesus, we trust in You!
Mary, Queen of the Clergy, Queen of Families, pray for us.

Amen.


Responses

  1. Thank you Deborah, this was a good follow-up to my morning readings

    • Dear Debbie,

      Thanks for your reply. Listening to The Mass Readings, each day is a special blessing for me, and today as we celebrated the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary, I was so convinced: God has shed His Light on this darkness so that we might look to her — to be as she is, our Queen and our Mother! He has given her to us in a special way.

      Let us continue to believe in His Love and Trust Him as Mary did on this earth. Let us continue to pray with her, for the Church, and all the souls Jesus died to save. Let us remember her words to the children at Fatima: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph”. His heart will triumph because it is so united to The Sacred Heart of Her Son!

  2. Beautiful, Deborah. The Holy Spirit led those who compiled the Lectionary to choose this first reading for this very day, a Prophetic warning. “Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

    • Dear Barbara,

      Thanks for your reply. How I pray that all of us are listening, as you quoted from the Book of Revelation: “Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the Churches”. Not only do we need to “Listen” to God’s Truth but we need also to “Do the Truth we hear.” Mary, our Mother and Model for the Church, pray for us. Jesus we trust in You!
      Come Holy Spirit!

  3. Beautifully written, Deborah. The sinful shepherds have much to fear….God said He will come against them. God will take care of His church and all the little ones. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

    • Dear Susan,

      Thanks for your reply. Yes, God is cleansing His Church and Jesus told us: “Fear not, little flock…” (Luke 12:32). Let us continue to pray as Mary told the Children at Fatima. Sr. Lucia wrote: “The part of the last apparition which has remained most deeply imprinted on my heart is the prayer of our heavenly Mother begging us not to offend any more Almighty God, Who is already so much offended.”

      Come Holy Spirit, kindle in us the Fire of Your Love! Jesus, we trust in You! Our Lady of the Rosary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!

  4. Yes, this article makes a very persuasive case that all need to
    hear and live God’s words. With
    regards to the recent sexual abuses,
    these cases are reprehensible. During
    Vatican II Church leaders were informed
    by the leaders of the psychological
    community that pedophyles could not
    be rehabilitated. Unfortunately,
    Church leaders continued to reassign priests accused of sexual abuse
    of minors of any age. And, violations continued
    by priests that should have been isolated. How sad!
    And, if Church leaders don’t pay
    attention to experts in personality
    disorders, the abuses will continue.
    And, there’s money paid to victims,
    but no accountability. But, today’s
    readings clearly encourage us to
    listen, to change. Perfect message
    for a complicated issue. God have
    mercy on all of us, and help us
    die and change.

    • Dear Lizette,

      Thanks so much for your reply. Yes, I thank God for His Mercy and His Patience with all of us. He continues to speak His Truth, but we need to open the ears of our hearts to listen truly to what He is saying! Today let us not harden our hearts!

      In the First Reading for Mass today on this Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle, we hear again from the Book of Revelation — not the quote which Barbara reminded us of in her reply, but today from Rev. 21:

      “The angel spoke to me, saying, ‘Come here. I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain
      and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.”

      St. Paul calls the Church the Bride of Christ, and The Church has proclaimed Mary to be Mother and Model. for the Church. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Mary is called,

      “ESCHATOLOGICAL ICON OF THE CHURCH

      972 After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary. In her we contemplate what the Church already is in her mystery on her own “pilgrimage of faith,” and what she will be in the homeland at the end of her journey. There, “in the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity,” “in the communion of all the saints,” The Church is awaited by the one she venerates as Mother of her Lord and as her own mother.”


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