The Feast of Queenship of Mary
(Isaiah 9: ; Ps ; Luke 1: 26 – 38)
In composing his Gospel St. Luke had an inspired plan for the ﬁrst two chapters – there are 7 scenes and each scene shares a similar pattern – he writes of time and place, introduces the people and then ﬁlls it out with some event or dialog.Today’s Gospel of the Annunciation follows exactly this plan: it was the sixth month – the place a town in Galilee called Nazareth – a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph – the angel Gabriel – and a most sacred dialog between them, a wondrous message and a heartfelt response.
There is so much for prayerful reﬂection in this Gospel of the Annunciation – too much for a homily and surely for one’s personal meditation. So I center on one verse that always for me and perhaps for you makes me pause: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”
“You have found favor” – the verb indicates something that has already taken place and continues on. Mary’s whole life has been blessed, anointed, embraced by God’s loving gaze and presence and all has led to the moment of her conception of the Eternal Word. The rest of her life will ﬂow from it – such is God’s favor for her.
She lived that most sacred favor in conceiving and bearing Jesus, the Son of God and there is more. In the few passages about her in the Gospels she ever shares that favor, reaching out to others: her visit to her cousin Elizabeth, her concern for the couple at Cana when the wine ran out, her words to all: “Do whatever He tells you” and her forgiving, loving presence after the Ascension in the upper room with the women and the apostles who betrayed her Son. She is a model of faith and charity to us who also are favored by our God.
In the Book of Lamentations, chapter 3, we read: “The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, His mercies are not spent. They are renewed each morning so great is His faithfulness.” This verse speaks to us and of us; we have only to think of the Holy Eucharist – the incomprehensible favor of receiving the Incarnate Son of God. Mary, our Mother, tells us that this extravagant favor is to be lived in our daily lives – love, mercy, forgiveness. Received and given, welcomed and shared, adored and lived – this is the way of true gratitude for God’s inﬁnite, inexhaustible favor. “Do whatever He tells you” – the words of our Queen and Mother – words of wisdom, words of her own experience. We have truly found favor with God!