“Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.” (1 Kings 2:20)
“These are the words of him who is holy and true [Jesus], who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” (Rev. 3:7)
The Church celebrates the Feast of the Queenship of Mary one week after the Feast of her Assumption into Heaven (on August 22).
The Virgin Mary is the true Davidic Queen assumed into Heaven. This is so because Jesus Christ is the true Heavenly King who holds the key of David.
There can be no doubt that Matthew’s Gospel envisions the restoration of the Old Testament Davidic Kingdom through the person of Jesus Christ, whom Matthew right away identifies as the “son of David” (see Matt 1:1). This is the very first verse of the New Testament, and the Jewish reader back then would have known automatically that the messiah was to be a descendant of the royal line of David. God had promised David an everlasting Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:12-17), and Jesus was clearly seen as the person who would “rebuild David’s fallen tent” (Acts 15:16). The overarching theme of Matthew’s Gospel is the Kingdom, or more precisely the Kingdom of Heaven, and Jesus inaugurates this Kingdom by establishing his church which brings the ancient Davidic monarchy to its true “perfection” (see references below).
Just as David established the Kingdom of Israel with its twelve tribes, Jesus established His Heavenly Kingdom on the foundation of the twelve apostles. And just as the Davidic King would have a Prime Minister, who was given the “keys to the Kingdom” as a sign of his office (see Isaiah 22: 20-22), Jesus selected Peter as his first Prime Minister and entrusted to him the keys of the Kingdom (see Matthew 16:19). Jesus even promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against his Church, which is his “Kingdom on earth.”
According to Dr. Hahn, “The structure of David’s monarchy was neither incidental or accidental; in God’s providential plan, it foreshadowed the Kingdom of God” (Hail, Holy Queen, p.76). “The Davidic monarchy finds its perfect fulfillment in the reign of Jesus Christ – and there was never a Davidic King without a Davidic Queen: the King’s own mother, the queen mother” (Id at 83, emphasis added). The queen mother was known as the gebirah or “great lady” (Id at 79). The “Gebirah was more than a title; it was an office with real authority” (id at 80). Thus, at 1 Kings 2:20 we read the reigning King say, “Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.” Neither could Jesus refuse his mother’s request at Cana, even though the Lord’s time had not yet come to perform his first miracle (John 2:5). Mary, although ever-Virgin, is the mother of Jesus and the mother of the church. “Hear then, O house of David!…The Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Is 7:13-14).
Rightly so, Mary is the Queen and mother of all Christians. From the cross, Jesus told John to “behold his mother” (John 19:27), and in his vision of Heaven described in the Book of Revelation John sees the Blessed Virgin “clothed with the sun…and on her head a [queenly] crown of twelve stars….” (Rev. 12: 1). The Queenship of Mary, Mother of God, is no mere sentiment of overly maternalistic Catholics: it was foreshadowed by the Davidic monarchy in the Old Testament and brought to fruition by the best of all Kings, Jesus Christ. Mary now reigns forever as Queen and Mother in the Kingdom of Heaven:
“…the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death….This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.” (From the Vatican II document, Lumen Gentium, quoted at CCC 966, 969).
“Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.”
Tom Mulcahy, M.A.
Ref. I am carving this short note out of Dr. Hahn materials including The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible on Matthew; Hail, Holy Queen (Double Day); audio series on Gospel of Matthew; Rome Sweet Home (Ignatius); and see also Disc six of Why the Hell? on “The New Eve.” In Redemptoris Mater, 47, Saint John Paul II states:
“Thanks to this special bond linking the Mother of Christ with the Church, there is further clarified the mystery of that “woman” who, from the first chapters of the Book of Genesis until the Book of Revelation, accompanies the revelation of God’s salvific plan for humanity. For Mary, present in the Church as the Mother of the Redeemer, takes part, as a mother, in that monumental struggle; against the powers of darkness” which continues throughout human history. And by her ecclesial identification as the “woman clothed with the sun” (Rev. 12:1), it can be said that “in the Most Holy Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle.” Hence, as Christians raise their eyes with faith to Mary in the course of their earthly pilgrimage, they “strive to increase in holiness.” Mary, the exalted Daughter of Sion, helps all her children, wherever they may be and whatever their condition, to find in Christ the path to the Father’s house.Thus, throughout her life, the Church maintains with the Mother of God a link which embraces, in the saving mystery, the past, the present and the future, and venerates her as the spiritual mother of humanity and the advocate of grace.”
Image: The Coronation of the Virgin by Diego Velazquez, circa 1645 (according to Wikipedia, “The work of art depicted in this image and the reproduction thereof are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project. The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.”).
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