Thursday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute


Thursday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time – August 22, 2019

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Judges 11:29-39a

Psalm40:5, 7-8a, 8b-9, 10

Matthew 22:1-14

Today we celebrate the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In 1954 Pope Pius XII established this feast.  This day is set on the octave of the Feast of the Assumption, where we celebrate Jesus’ Mother being assumed into Heaven.  Mary, our Mother, stands as witness for us that the promise of the fullness of life with God is intended for the entire human race.

Our Gospel text is one that is assigned to Ordinary time, rather than a special Gospel to the memorial and is, in an interesting way, very appropriate to the memorial.  Jesus tells the parable of the King’s wedding feast to presumably challenge the leaders of Israel who fail to see that Jesus is the fulfillment of the messianic promise.  The wedding is the “marriage” of God’s Son and God’s people in such a way that the people are transformed through the Son into His very being.  The symbol of the wedding garment has long been understood as taking on the life of the Spirit through the sacrament of Baptism.  The symbol of the garment is the symbol for a “transformed body” or new skin.  It is to make the person what he or she was created to be – a member of the Body of Christ within the Trinitarian life.

This then is the wedding feast; to show up at the feast without accepting the garment of divine life is not possible.   In other words, we aren’t automatically divinized; there is some action on the part of our own free will that accepts what God is offering.  One has to embrace the life of God’s reign with Jesus and through the Holy Spirit.  Mary, is the symbol for the Church, is the “bride” who is crowned Queen of God’s reign and all of us are invited to be, as Mary is, invited to participate in the Banquet of God.  

I know what you may be thinking.  You may be concerned what happens to non baptized Christians.  Actually, since salvation is God’s job we presume that He has ways of accomplishing the offer beyond the boundaries of overt Christianity.  But what we are confident of is that God has promised the invitation to the wedding to those who join Jesus in living and proclaiming God’s reign.  The good news is that the feast is celebrated within our lives here and now, not just eternally.

Question of the Day:  Will you offer the invitation to the feast that God offers us?

Prayer:  Oh Mary we sit in awe, Jesus’ Mother, Queen of heaven forever, pray for us now and at the hour of our death, amen.



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