Monday, August 21, 2017

A Queen Who Gladly Sacrifices Her Crown

Here we are at August 22nd again, one week after the Solemnity of the Assumption. Today we celebrate the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary. It's hard, coming just one day after the solar eclipse, when the sun's corona becomes visible, not to be especially mindful of the passage from the Book of Revelation:
And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery...she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne. (Rev. 12:1-2, 5)
As I meditated upon Mary's coronation in the Rosary, I naturally visualized Jesus placing a crown upon her head (2 Tim. 4:8); and I imagined Him speaking the words that each of us longs to hear at the end of our journey, "Well done good and faithful servant" (Mt. 25:23). But then my mind went to a place in meditating upon this mystery that it never had before, to the fourth chapter of Revelation:
And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him Who is seated on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him Who is seated on the throne and worship Him Who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing,“Worthy art thou, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for Thou didst create all things,and by Thy will they existed and were created" (Rev. 4:9-11).
And for the first time I visualized our Lady solemnly casting her crown before the throne as she joyfully acknowledged how all she is, and all that she accomplished in life, was due to God's grace working within her. It was the same attitude Mary manifested when her kinswoman Elizabeth declared her "blest among women" and asked, "why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Lk. 1:43). Mary burst into praise of the Lord:
My soul magnifies the Lord,and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;for he who is mighty has done great things for me,and holy is his name. (Lk. 1:46-49)

Just as the moon has no light of its own, but glows luminously because of the light it receives from the sun, so Mary is aflame with grace, with the life of God. (And it is impossible for her, the moon, to ever eclipse her Son.)

Let there be no doubt: As the Mother of the Messiah, the Blessed Virgin Mary is Queen of Heaven and Earth. She reigns beside her Son just as Bethsheba reigned beside her son, King Solomon (1 Kings 2:19). If Jesus and His saints wear crowns, then rest assured that Mary wears one befitting her dignity as Mother of the King. But don't forget...she thinks nothing of casting it before the One Who has given her all things. Next to her Son, no one in heaven or earth is more exalted, nor more humble, than our Blessed Mother.