“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in, you stop them. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the sanctuary is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by the oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that has made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gift that is on the altar is bound by the oath.’
How blind you are! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; and whoever swears by the sanctuary, swears by it and by the one who dwells in it; and whoever swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by the one who is seated upon it.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
All the events of Mary’s life are associated with Jesus. Thus today’s feast of Mary’s queenship has strong Scriptural roots, precisely because Mary’s title as queen is her sharing in Jesus’ kingship. At the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. And at the Visitation, Elizabeth calls Mary the “mother of my Lord.”
In the fourth century St. Ephrem called Mary “Lady” and “Queen.” Church fathers continued to use the title. Church hymns of the early centuries address Mary as queen: “Hail, Holy Queen,” (Salve Regina) and “Queen of Heaven” (Regina Coeli) are two of them. The Dominican rosary and numerous invocations in the Litany of Loreto celebrate her queenship.
Who among us doesn’t rely on special friends to make our way through life? Today’s feast offers the opportunity to reflect and celebrate Mary as a mentor, a special friend, the mother of Jesus. The hymn below celebrates the special role May plays in my personal life and within our family.
—Jesuit Prayer Team
Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercies, our life, our sweetness, and our hope;
To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To you do send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious Advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us,
and after this exile show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement,O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
—Traditional Salve Regina hymn