22 August – Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Whoever, therefore, reverences the Queen of heaven and earth – and let no one consider himself exempt from this tribute of a grateful and loving soul – let him invoke the most effective of Queens, the Mediatrix of peace; let him respect and preserve peace, which is not wickedness unpunished nor freedom without restraint, but a well-ordered harmony under the rule of the will of God; to its safeguarding and growth the gentle urgings and commands of the Virgin Mary impel us. – Pope Pius XII
The people that walked in darkness
has seen a great light;
on those who live in a land of deep shadow
a light has shone.
You have made their gladness greater,
you have made their joy increase;
they rejoice in your presence
as men rejoice at harvest time,
as men are happy when they are dividing the spoils.
For the yoke that was weighing on him,
the barb across his shoulders,
the rod of his oppressor,
these you break as on the day of Midian.
For all the footgear of battle,
every cloak rolled in blood,
and consumed by fire.
For there is a child born for us,
a son given to us
and dominion is laid on his shoulders;
and this is the name they give him:
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.
For nothing is impossible to God
Why do we need to pray to Mary when we can pray to God directly? This question may be received by many Catholics from people who wonder what the role of Mary is in the Catholic religion. Sometimes, this question is posed to us out of a genuine desire to know our faith better; but sometimes, it is posed to us out of a spirit of malice and spite. This is where we must keep recourse to our Lady and ask her to grant us patience to answer these questions.
Today’s feast reminds us of the need to follow Mary as our role model in living our lives. This means we can look to her for guidance and help when we feel down because she also went through the various emotions we have gone through. Mary is a queen who understands all our trials which we go through. It may seem like a repeated maxim that “Mother Mary intercedes for us”, but I strongly trust that there is truth in that statement.
Sometimes, the role of Mary is not emphasised enough in our understanding of salvation. But I believe that this can be overcome if we pray to Our Lady and appreciate that she cares for us if we let her. As we continue with our daily lives, may we always depend on God for help and trust Mary to show us the way.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Mother Mary, pray for us.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who make Rosaries.