Aug. 22 Queenship of Mary
Gospel Lk 1, 26-38
Eight days after the Solemnity of the Assumption of our Lady, we celebrate the feast of her Queenship. Today’s Gospel is that of the Annunciation. I love to contemplate Mary at the moment of Gabriel’s greeting for she is so very human. Although she was immaculate, not having any pathological insecurity or afflicted with false humility, she is deeply disturbed by the sight of the great Archangel and even more by what he says. Every true encounter with the supernatural has a certain terror in it. We often like to treat God as a kind of commodity, or like some celestial vending machine. We say some prayers and expect to get some blessing in return. But once we really understand Him as the Supreme Being who nevertheless deigns to draw us into an incredible intimacy with Himself, then we can never regard Him in a casual way again. Yet this terror does not terrorize. Rather it fascinates and draws the human being to its Source. Although Mary was afraid and had to be reassured by Gabriel, she did not lose her composure. She was a queen even here, a royal mistress of herself because she was utterly submissive to her Lord. She had a question and she was able to ask it. And although the answer was even more mysterious than the original statement, she said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to your word”.