The first reading for today is from the 2nd Book of Kings. I think “what the heck….” is a good first response once you have completed your read. I wonder if I commissioned a poll in which the average person on the street heard the reading and then asked its source, given two choices, which they’d pick? My poll would offer (a) Games of Thrones and (b) The Book of Kings. I am guessing Games of Thrones would win because only the hard core fans remember the names and most people would wonder if the Book of Kings was a real thing…. I mean the names did not sound as though from the English monarchy. Continue reading
“Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy….” So begins one of the prayers from our Catholic treasury. Have you ever wondered why we use the title “Queen” for Mary?
The beginning of the concept that Mary is a Queen is found in the annunciation narrative. For the angel tells her that her Son will be King over the house of Jacob forever. So she, His Mother, would be a Queen. While in our age we are quick to think that “queen” means wife of the king, the meaning in ancient Israel also included the mother of the king, the “Queen Mother.” The first formal definition and basis for the later title “Mary Queen of Heaven” developed at the Council of Ephesus, where Mary was proclaimed as “theotokos” (lit. “God bearer”) or in English, the Mother of God. The Council fathers specifically approved this version against the opinion that Mary is “only” the mother of Jesus. Nobody had participated in the life of her son more than Mary, who gave birth to the Son of God. Continue reading