Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
The first reading from 2 Chronicles 24:17-25 recounts the disastrous reign of King Joash. His return to the worship of pagan idols and his murder of Zechariah, son of Jehoiada the priest brought ruin upon Judah and Jerusalem. This story about an unfaithful king makes the entrance antiphon take on special significance today: “Hail, Holy Mother, who gave birth to the King, who rules heaven and earth for ever.” Mary brought forth Jesus, the true King who rules heaven and earth with justice and faithfulness. The responsorial antiphon “Forever I will maintain my love for my servant” (Ps 89:29) can be understood not only to refer to David but especially to Christ, Beloved Son of the Father, whose throne is “for all generations.”
In the famous gospel passage about the lilies of the field from Matthew chapter 6, we find an apt image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her complete abandonment to the will of God and acceptance of her role as mother of the Savior made her the disciple par excellence: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear…Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these will be given you besides.” (Mt 6:25,31-33).
As we approach the altar for communion, we sing the refrain “Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the Son of the eternal Father” cf Lk 11:27. Mary served only one Master—God—who blessed her with the privilege of being the mother of his eternal Son. The lily (fleur-de-lis) became the symbol of Mary because of her purity, sinlessness, and role in the divine birth of the Savior. May we “of little faith” turn to the example of Mary to seek first the kingdom of God and to find freedom from care and worry.
For today: What is at the center of my life? Am I overly concerned about food, clothing, fashion, and prestige?
Reflection by Br. Michael Marcotte, OSB