August 22, 2013

The Gospel Today

Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mt. 22:1-14

Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables
saying, “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?’
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Reflection (Sem. Danichi Hui):

            Today we celebrate the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It may be a lavish experience to be a queen or to belong to a royal family. Looking at the life of Queen Elizabeth and her royal family, no one will doubt that they have a very comfortable life which is in contrast with the queenship of Mary. She had to endure a difficult start. Instead of comfort she has to bear the discomfort of obedience. No one would want to be dictated and ruled over by another person and no one would want to follow someone whom he/she does not know. But despite this discomfort, Mary still followed.

            Before I entered the seminary, doubts and second thoughts came to me during my discernment. Who would have known that I have a “calling” and that I will become a priest in the future? Not even myself know that I have such. That is why the process I had been through was not a comfortable one, for it entails obedience. But the dilemma was that I do not have any assurance about the decision I will be following. I guess this is the real essence of obedience, to be able to follow despite and in spite. Obedience is not an act of having “no choice”, but an act of faith.

            Mary obeyed the will of God because of her faith, if only for her own capacity she would have turned her back. It was shown when she asked the angel how she could bear the Son of God when she does not have any relations to a man. It is the limitation of being a human that made her asked such question, but it was the fullness of her spirit that gave her the faith to follow the will of God. It is the deep faith that defined Mary’s obedience to God and from where her comfort lies. The lavishness of her queenship is not based on material but spiritual and I think this is the invitation of the queenship of Mary, to be lavish in spiritual and not in material.

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