Isaiah 11:1-10, Ephesians 2:13-18, Matthew 2:13-15,19-23
Today, the church in Nigeria celebrates the solemnity of Our Lady, Queen and Patroness of Nigeria. The queenship of Mary aligns with her role in the salvation of man which finds its completion after the assumption in heaven.
The queenship of Mary derives from her closeness with her son, who is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
The Kingship of Jesus and Queenship of Mary.
During the Annunciation, Gabriel announces to Mary that the Son she would bear would receive the throne of David and rule forever. He says “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. You shall conceive and bear a son, and you shall call him Jesus. He will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign forever; his kingdom will never end. (Luke 1:26-33).
In the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem before His passion. Jesus rides on a donkey and the people shout “Hosanna! Blessed is the One coming in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David. Hosanna in the highest”.
In essence, They are shouting “come and save us now, the coming Kingdom of their great Father David, their deliverer, the anointed messiah. A kingdom cannot exist without a king. Hence, Jesus riding on a donkey means that His kingdom is different, His kingdom is that of peace and not of political power.
Thirdly, when the three wise men visited Jesus, they presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold is a precious metal that is for jewellery and ornaments. The gift of gold points to Jesus’ royalty.
So, Mary as the Mother of Jesus shares in this Royalty. Her queenship is a share in Jesus’ kingship. We can also recall that in the Old Testament the mother of the king had great influence in court. The Mother of a King is also a queen.
They ascribe them with the Hebrew title Gebirah, meaning queen mother, a great lady and Royal Mother.
The queen mother has a great influence in the King’s court. In 1 Kings 2:20, Solomon said to his Mother Bathsheba, seated on a throne at his right, “Make your request, Mother, for I will not refuse you”.
Therefore, Mary as our queen comes from her relationship with the Lord.
At the Visitation, Elizabeth calls Mary “Mother of my Lord.” As in all the mysteries of Mary’s life, she is closely associated with Jesus:
In the fourth century, Saint Ephrem called Mary “Lady” and “Queen.” Later Church fathers and doctors continued to use the title.
Pope Pius XII states that Mary is Queen above every other creature on account of the elevation of her soul and the excellence of the gifts she received. She never ceases to bestow all the treasures of her love and care on humanity.
Later, some Church fathers and doctors used this title to address mother Mary. In the 11th and 13th century, many hymns addressed her as ” Hail, Holy Queen”,
So the Catholic bishops of Nigeria in dedicating our country Nigeria to her chose this title. Today, we celebrate her as Our Lady Queen and Patroness of Nigeria.
So, Mary is Queen because of her unique association to her Son, both during her earthly journey as well as in heavenly glory.
The great saint of Syria, Ephrem of Syria, said regarding the queenship of Mary that it derives from her maternity.
She is Mother of the Lord, of the King of kings (cf. Is 9:1-6), and she points to Jesus as our life, salvation and our hope.
The Significance of Mary’s Queenship.
We commonly have this idea that a king or queen should be a person with power and riches. But this is not the kind of royalty proper to Jesus and Mary.
Many people today who are at top positions, use their positions to intimidate people. Many mothers use their positions as a way of showcasing their prestige and honour. But the queenship of Mary is not that of the worldly Fashion.
Therefore, her queenship is to intercede for her children. Her queenship is to make sure that we achieve salvation through the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the gospel, She made sure that Jesus was protected from Herod. She sacrifices everything; her time, resources, profession, etc and ran to Egypt to make sure that Jesus is saved.
In the same way, Mary as Our Queen is to protect us from danger. Mary as our queen is to intercede for us.
Secondly, The Lordship and Kingship of Christ are interwoven with humility, service and love: it is, above all else, to serve, to assist, to love.
Let us recall that they proclaim Jesus king on the Cross, with this inscription written by Pilate: “King of the Jews” (cf. Mark 15:26).
So, at that moment on the Cross, there is a revelation about the kingship of Jesus Christ. And how is He a king? By suffering with us, for us, by loving us to the end.
In essence, it is in this way that he governs and creates truth, love and justice. Or let us also think of another moment: at the Last Supper, he bends down to wash the feet of his disciples.
Therefore, the kingship of Jesus has nothing to do with that which belongs to the power of the earth.
In the same way, the queenship of Mary is to serve. She showed this all through her life. She is a queen in God’s service which she does for humanity.
Therefore, Mary as Our queen is to serve us. She is ready to pray for the overflow of graces in our lives. The problem is that we do not have her time. We neglect her powerful intercessory role.
We have to know that Mary as our queen is to help us, she is the queen of peace. She is the queen of love, who lives out her gift of self to God to enter into His plan of salvation for man.
To the angel, she responds: Behold the handmaid of the Lord (cf. Luke 1:38), and in the Magnificat, she sings: God has looked upon the lowliness of His handmaid (cf. Luke 1:48). So, she is a queen of humility.
Mary as our queen is to help us. She is queen precisely by loving us, by helping us in every one of our needs; she is our sister, a humble handmaid.
So, Mary as our queen means she is very important in the royal court. Therefore, God does not neglect her request. This is the reason we always need to seek her help.
Our country is undergoing a serious crisis. There is bloodshed everywhere. By shedding blood daily, we are putting our land in trouble more instead of saving it. Let us seek her help in this great time of trouble.
Through her intercession, we pray to God to bring peace and progress to the land. May She also present our request daily to the heavenly throne.
1. The queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary helps us to recognise the unique role of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the mother of God and the Queen of Heaven.
Through this great role, She constantly intercedes for us. This in a way teaches our leaders what their first role should be. Their role as leaders is not just for the stomach. They are not there to play politics with the lives of the people.
Their role first and foremost is to lead and save. Therefore, when you assume a role as a leader, always know that your priority is to save the lives of those who are under you.
2. When our leaders see the crown, what they immediately begin to envisage is intimidation, bribery, deception, lies, corruption, and how to keep their office even if it will cost anyone’s life. This has continued to keep us back.
Jesus says in Matthew 20:25-26, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. It shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your servant”
Therefore, when we talk about the queenship of the Blessed Virgin which is intimately connected to her son, we do not talk about our political idea of being a king or queen.
We talk about love, service and constant care. Until we begin to see politics as a call to service, we shall always remain where we are.
3. If the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Queen and Her son is a King, it means also that they take care of our spiritual lives, govern our lives, they can control whatever happens to us and hold the destinies of the universe in their palms.
Therefore, we have to turn to Our Lady with confidence, believing strongly in her intercession.
4. Like the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us also take it as our priority to save lives and touch souls. Let us take our service to God and humanity as our prime responsibilities. When we live our lives saving the lives of others everything about us will change in this country, hence we are blinded by political and religious sentiments. We do not care even if our country is growing or loosing, for the fact that our kinsman is the leader, we no longer care. Until we begin to act as one, we shall always remain where we are.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary Intercede for Us.