Wednesday August 22, 2001 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Queenship of Mary
Reading (Isaiah 9:1-6) Gospel (St. Luke 1:26-38)
As we celebrate today the queenship of Our Lady, we recognize also that we are in the octave day of the solemnity of the Assumption; the Church is making very clear the connection between Our Lord bringing His mother up to Heaven and now seating her right next to His own throne. This is something that is also in line with what they did in Israel. We read in Scripture, for instance, about Solomon and his own mother being seated next to the royal throne. When Bathsheba came into the royal throne room, Solomon had a throne set right next to his and his mother sat upon the throne. Here, the King of Israel bowed down to the ground before his own mother. She was the queen mother, and that is precisely the role of Our Lady.
In the Gospel reading today we hear the angel Gabriel telling Our Lady that Jesus, the Son to be born of the virgin, is going to have the throne of his father David, and he will reign forever. And so, seated next to the throne of the King is His mother, who is the queen. In ancient Israel, the queen mother was looked to not only as the queen, but truly as the mother. She was considered the mother of the whole country. It was the mother's heart that the king would look to, as he would make decisions about what needed to happen. He would seek out his own mother's counsel; he would look to her for guidance so that with her heart and the love of a mother he would make the decisions that he had to make. He honored her, as I mentioned, bowing down even to the ground; the King of Israel, before whom everyone else bowed down, bowed down to his own mother. So the honor and the role that was hers was both as queen and mother.
This is what we see happening today: Our Lady exalted above all the angels and saints, rightly has the position of queen. Remember that in Heaven that position of exaltation and glory is not the one of who is going to be served, but rather it is who serves. So the fact that Our Lady is the queen shows us that she serves. At every single instant (if there was such a thing in eternity) she is there to serve us. She has not stopped being our mother; but, in fact, beyond being our mother she has been exalted as the queen: the Queen of all Heaven and Earth.
As we look at all the other saints and all the angels, we rightly give them the proper veneration because of their holiness; but none even comes close to Our Blessed Lady. They pale in comparison to the glory that is due to her. What a wonderful thing it is for us to know that she is our mother; that she is right there next to the throne of Our Lord with her maternal heart; that she is the one who is praying for us, interceding on our behalf, obtaining the mercy of God for us because of that beautiful Immaculate Heart.
We glorify and honor our mother and in so doing we glorify and honor our God because it is He who has exalted her, it is He who has chosen her. Truly, for all of those "who walked in darkness," as Isaiah said, "a light has shone" and a Son has been given us. Because of the glory of that Son who is God, a mother has been given to each one of us. She intercedes on our behalf before the throne of God as only a mother and a queen is able to do.
Note: Father Altier does not write his homilies in advance, but relies solely upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.