August 22, 2018
by Luis Rodriguez, S.J.
Creighton University's Jesuit Community
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 421

Ezekiel 34:1-11
Psalms 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Matthew 20:1-16

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Pope John Paul II on the Queenship of Mary

The liturgical rank of this day has been lowered to memorial of... and we might not be surprised by that. In our democratic society royal dignity does not have all that much meaning. Even colleges have discontinued their traditional Campus King and Campus Queen pageants. We do not quite know what royalty means. One thing this memorial does not mean is declaring Mary Queen for a Day, as in the old television program, and Putzfrau (cleaning woman) for the rest of the year.

Mary’s dignity is necessarily associated with the dignity of her Son as King, which we celebrate on the last day of the liturgical year as the feast of Christ King. Jesus himself recognized such dignity before Pilate. As baptism incorporates us in the mission of Christ, it sends us to proclaim God’s kingdom/reign.

But Christ’s reign is a two-dimensional concept. Objectively, it refers to Christ’s dignity and power. Subjectively, it refers to acceptance on our side, to our recognition of his values and priorities as the rule of our lives. Without our acceptance Christ’s kingdom remains incomplete in us.

Mary’s queenship shares in this two-dimensional nature. Objectively, it refers to Mary’s dignity as Mother of Christ King. Subjectively, it refers to acceptance on our side, to our recognition of her life as exemplar for our own lives. Without such acceptance Mary’s queenship remains incomplete in us and we would be making Mary Queen for a Day, for this one day.

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