Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) - Mary
"Queen of Heaven, close to God, but also our mother close to us, who loves
us and listens carefully to us," and to whom we "turn confident that
Mary will not fail to intercede for us ". On
the day when the liturgy commemorates the Virgin Mary as Queen, Benedict XVI
dedicated his reflection for the general audience to the meaning of this
"queenship, what Queen Mary means."
To four thousand people in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope stressed that like Jesus, Mary's "sovereignty is not wealth and power, but is a service of love."
The festival dedicated to the queenship of Mary, said Benedict XVI, "is of recent establishment, even if it has an ancient origin and devotion. It was established, in fact, by the Venerable Pius XII, in 1954, at the end of the Marian month and the date set for May 31. On this occasion he said that Mary is Queen more than any other creature for the elevation of her soul and for the excellence of the gifts she received. She never ceases to bestow all the treasures of her love and her concern on humanity". After the post-conciliar reform of the liturgical calendar, the feast "was placed eight days after the Solemnity of the Assumption to emphasize the close relationship between the royalty of Mary and her glorification in soul and body next to her Son." "Here lies the root of today's feast: Mary is Queen because she uniquely bound to her Son, both in his earthly journey and in the glory of heaven."
The "sovereignty" of Mary is a "consequence of her being united to her Son, of her being in heaven in communion with God" and therefore "participating in God's responsibility for the world and the love of God for the world". It is a title that refers to the kingship of Christ: a kingship "full of humility, service and love." Jesus is proclaimed king on the cross, suffering with us and for us, loving us to the very end. "The kingship of Jesus has nothing to do with that of the powerful of this world. He is a king who serves his servants." "So it is with Mary: Queen in service to God and humanity, she is the queen of love, living the gift of self to God to enter into His plan of salvation. To the angel she replies: I am the handmaid of the Lord. "
Hers then, is a queenship of service and love. She "watches over us, her children: children who turn to her in prayer, to thank her or to ask for her maternal protection and her heavenly help after perhaps becoming lost along the path, overwhelmed by grief or anguish for the sad and troubled vicissitudes of life. For serenity in our existence or in the dark, we turn to Mary, entrusting ourselves to her continual intercession, so that from her Son we may receive every grace and mercy necessary for our journey along the roads of the world".
The Virgin, "as our mother next to her Son Jesus in the glory of heaven is with us always, in the unfolding of our daily life."
Devotion to Our Lady, concluded the Pope, "is an important part of our spiritual life. In our prayer we should never fail to turn to her, confident that Mary will intercede for us with her Son. Gazing upon Mary, let us imitate her faith, her complete openness to God's loving plan, her generous welcoming of Jesus. "