Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

We ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters, as is fitting, because your faith flourishes ever more, and the love of every one of you for one another grows ever greater.
Accordingly, we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God regarding your endurance and faith in all your persecutions and the afflictions you endure.

Saint Paul begins his Second Letter to the Thessalonians talking about how he thanks “God always for you.” He crows about their flourishing faith and “the love of every one of you for one another.” He assures them he boasts about them "in the churches of God regarding your endurance and faith,” especially the “persecutions and afflictions” they suffered.

He is like a proud father of a family when he thinks about these first Christians. They have excelled beyond all expectations. If he ever had any misgivings about going abroad and announcing the Gospel to strangers in faraway places, their generosity, joy and courageous fidelity have cleared them away.

He can claim a kind of ownership in their accomplishment because he was the first missionary to bring the gospel to them. Whatever conflict he met in that encounter, and every weariness or discouragement, have been completely erased because the Thessalonians have accepted the faith with such manifest enthusiasm.

He can claim a kind of ownership also because he knows the same Holy Spirit in his heart. As Saint Augustine would say many years later, “For you I am your bishop; with you I am your brother.”

Thinking of Mary and her Coronation as the Queen of Heaven we feel the same pride and joy. She is our mother and sister, a poor Galilean woman whom God has exalted above the heavens. He has lifted her out of obscurity and poverty and made her to shine brightly for all the world to see and admire.

If an athlete from our hometown wins Olympic gold we naturally take pride in the accomplishment. Most of us will discover ways we know the champion. We’ll say things like, “I knew his father in school.” or “I’ve seen her at the grocery store.” The city of Louisville beamed with pride a few months ago as we celebrated the funeral of our native son, Muhammad Ali. Many people said, “I knew him when he was Cassius Clay!”

There may be some purists who say we shouldn’t take such pride in a neighbor’s accomplishment but they’re invariably outvoted by the rest of us. When we praise Mary we praise the God who created her.

Nor do we mind saying, “I know her! She’s a friend of mine!” We have only to point to the rosaries in our pockets to prove our friendship with her. She leads us daily through her joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Hurray for Mary, our Mother and Queen, our sister and friend. Your are the ideal of our aspirations and the solace of our disappointments.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.