surrounded with variety." Psalm 44:11.
Some years ago the world was agog with the crowning of King George and Queen Elizabeth of England. All possible pomp and pageantry were called into play. Those were days of festivity and celebration. Music and color and song and parade honored the newly-crowned heads of the Empire. Around the world press and radio flashed details of the ceremonies. Britain had a king and queen.
But there was a reception and a crowning of a Queen some twenty centuries ago that far surpassed the most elaborate coronation ever held on earth. When the Immaculate Virgin Mary was joyfully received by Jesus into heaven and there crowned Queen of heaven and earth, as we recall in the seventh decade of the Franciscan Rosary, there was a celestial celebration that exceeded beyond compare any similar ceremony ever held in the courts of men.
"Open the portals! The Queen is approaching. Lift up, O eternal gates!" The choirs of heaven caroled her coming: "The Queen is coming. Here she comes."
The endless parade of the blessed crowded about the wide-open gates of heaven. There was tense expentancy, such as one finds along a line of march as a parade approaches. A roadway of clouds billowed the pathway from an uncorrupted grave to an incorruptible throne. At last, borne by angels, the lovely Lady arrives. It is the first Assumption Day. The heavenly throng gasps with admiration. The celestial singers burst into song. The angels hurry to and fro to catch a glimpse of her and to tell their companions of her beauty. Jesus waits at the open entrance, throws His arms about His Mother, leads her triumphantly and happily to the very throne of the heavenly Father, who leans forward and places solemnly and smilingly upon her beauteous head—the crown, as the Holy Spirit, heavenly Spouse of the Virgin Mother casts warmth and light upon the welcome newcomer.
Sweet scene of Mary's bliss! Who can measure her happiness? Who can count the throbs of joy in her heart: joy that now her lonesome life on earth without Jesus is over; joy that now she has Him, never again to lose Him; joy that now she can enjoy His company without the interruptions of earth or sense; joy that now she can help everyone on earth who is devoted to her Son; joy that she can now know the why and wherefore of many things that had happened to her here below; joy that she was forever to associate only with the good and pure and virtuous and kind; joy that now it is her turn, and it is in her power to show special kindness to all who had been kind to her while she walked this earth; joy that all the honor and all the praise and all the glory is given to her because of her Son; joy that the very crown she is wearing as the Queen of heaven and earth, is given to her because she is the Mother of Jesus, the Son of God; joy that an eternity is just beginning during which she can wrap herself in her Child and her Redeemer, even more closely than their lives had been entwined upon earth.
Happy hour and happy homecoming! Mary, we rejoice with you. We who still wander in this world, we who are weak and weary and all too worldly, we, however, who love to call you our Queen, who count upon your queenly protection, we, your children still upon this place of trial, we rejoice with you and with the angels and blessed and with the Holy Trinity. O newly-crowned Queen, now we have a Mother and Queen to look after us, a Mother most loving and a Queen most powerful. As with all your other joys, small as well as great, your going home, your being crowned, your being enthroned makes us happy. It makes those in heaven happy; it makes the heaven-hungry happy too.
Though bodily Mary was taken away from her children on earth, though bodily she seems far away, yet her leaving our planet must not make us lonesome. Rather, her Assumption and her Crowning should be to us a promise and an earnest of our own final glory with her. Her victory will be our victory. Until that day of triumph we will struggle on, knowing that
always a Queen Mother is waiting and watching.
Who minds the discomforts and weariness of travel when he is going home to his mother? Who minds labor, who minds burdens, who minds delays, who minds sacrifices, when he is making his way to the place where mother lives?
Boys coming home from years of service abroad, youths riding buses and trains from college or work in a distant city, children coming home from vacation, will put up with every kind of convenience in the assurance that sooner or later they will be there—with mother. That is how we feel about traveling on the roads of time, looking forward to meeting our heavenly Mother. Jesus and Mary are waiting to welcome us, waiting to receive us among the happy inhabitants of that heavenly home, waiting to reward us for the smallest service.
What joy that stirs up in our hearts! Look down, O Mother Mary, look down, O heavenly Queen, look down from the heights of thy glory, look down and be to us—and be to all—a loving Mother and a powerful Queen. Thank God for the joy that is yours today. Thank God for the happiness and hope it gives us to pray the prayer Christ Himself taught us, and then to salute thee ten times with your favorite greeting, the Hail Mary, as we think of your being received into heaven and crowned our Queen. Thank God everyone for this joyful Mother. Amen.
Source: Feasts of Our Lady, Imprimatur 1952