Today is the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary. It is also the 5th Anniversary of my Ordination. I, along with eleven other men were ordained deacons at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona Minnesota on this day in 2009.
To commemorate both of these, I am posting for you a guest homily for today. The homilist is Deacon Joseph Weigel, my classmate and good friend. To him and all in the class of ’09, I extend my diaconal blessing.
August 22, 2014
Deacon Joe Weigel
I wish to share a few thoughts about today that make it rather special. First, this is the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary, a late feast of the Church, officially established in the 1950s. Note its placement, eight days after the feast of the Assumption; an octave of Mary, so to speak. This day used to be the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary which instead was moved to the second Saturday after Pentecost. As with all feasts surrounding Mary the key is not Mary but God working through her. She herself is mainly revered for the one thing that really sets her apart … she said yes. Through her yes, God set things in motion which gave us our redeemer who offers us redemption and eternal life with Him in heaven. Everything about Mary is about her Son. God overshadowed her with the Holy Spirit, He assumed her into heaven, and He crowns her as queen. As she said in front of her cousin Elizabeth, “my soul magnifies the Lord”. When we use a magnifying glass to look at a rare stamp or coin or precious jewelry we don’t do it to expound on the rare qualities of the magnifier, but rather we look through it to the object we are most interested in. Mary isn’t Queen of Heaven because of any great quality that she had or anything she had done… it was to point out who she was in relationship to Jesus. People get confused about queenship. We tend to focus on the medieval or even modern definition of royalty. But Christ’s kingship is based on the Davidic view of royalty. The queen in that view isn’t the wife of the king (for they had many) but it is the mother of the king. King Solomon’s queen wasn’t one of his wives, it was his mother, Bathsheba. Mary is Queen because Jesus is King. In the same vein, Mary was named Mother of God by the council of Ephesus in 431 not because of who she was, but to emphasize that Jesus was truly God and truly human. It’s all about Jesus. Mary is like the moon. She shines because of the Son. Without the sun we would never even see the moon. She reflects the Son, as we should.
Two other points about today… on the last day of this mini-octave of Mary I am thinking of my mother-in-law Mary who passed away three weeks ago. She and my father-in-law Chuck would have celebrated 63 years together on Monday and this Mass is celebrated in their honor.
And lastly, today is the fifth anniversary of my ordination to the diaconate. I ask you to please support all deacons but especially those in my class who celebrate today. They really are a great group of guys who have done and continue to do good works across our diocese. If my class did anything right, it was our choice of representative to speak at our ordination. We didn’t pick the man with the highest degree, or the most dynamic speaker, or oldest, or anything like that. We picked the humblest, unassuming, and most sincere man of our group. A man who worked for 30 years with his hands out in the fields or in the shop servicing farm equipment. He was and is a true servant, and just like Mary, his greatness is in his reflection of Jesus.