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The Queen of Heaven

The Queen’s Birthday and New Year honours are invariably a source of controversy. Whilst there are many worthy recipients, there is usually at least one person of whom it may be asked: “what have they ever done to merit a knighthood?” We can usually think of someone else who is far more deserving. There are many unsung heroes and it is often said that those who are worthy of an award, do not seek one. In recent months we have given some of them a little recognition even if it was only a round of applause, but most remain unnoticed. That is the way of the world but not God’s way. If we want to see God’s way, perhaps we can do no better than look to Mary the Mother of the Lord and our Mother. She was a very ordinary young woman who would declare herself to be the handmaid of the Lord and became the Mother of God’s only Son. Mary supported Jesus and followed him throughout his earthly ministry and even put her own life in danger by refusing to desert him during his arrest, trial, and execution. Mary stood by the Lord until he breathed his last breath, cradling him in her arms once again as she had done when he was a child. Never once did Mary draw attention to herself preferring to point the way to the Lord saying only “Do whatever he tells you.” Her soul glorified the Lord and now she has received the glory of heaven through her Assumption. In Mary, God has raised up the lowly and put down the proud of heart. The humble handmaid of the Lord has become the Queen of heaven. What greater recognition could anyone receive even though it was not something Mary sought. Now she is honoured throughout the world and all generations call her blessed. Yet in Mary’s Assumption we see not only her crowning glory, but our own destiny too if we but follow her example of fidelity to the Lord in humble service. I would like to think it is Mary who epitomises the prayer of St Ignatius of Loyola who once famously said: “Teach me, Lord, to be generous; teach me to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to seek for reward, except that of knowing that I do your will.” On this Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, maybe this is a good prayer to make our own.

Every blessing,

Father Iain


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