Readings: Isaiah 9:1-6; Luke 1:26-38
Although it may seem odd in this day and age to refer to Jesus and Mary in terms of royalty–the American fascination with royal weddings notwithstanding–today’s Gospel explains why we’d celebrate the Queenship of Mary. The Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that the Son to be born to her will be given the throne of David his father and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.
Those of us who have struggled with elections and available candidates–of each and every party–over several decades might be tempted to exchange the erratic choices of an electorate for a crowned monarch. That would be a foolish exchange: monarchs do no better than presidents and royal dynasties can suffer from exhausted gene pools.
No, the Gospel points us to another register since the only crown Mary’s Son ever wore was woven of thorns and imposed with mockery. His anointing was not with royal chrism but the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit who overshadows her in today’s Gospel.
It is her self-possessed, receptive response to God that is sovereign, that is regal in Mary. There is no force of wealth, privilege or coercive power here. And in such openness we, too, could be her children and heirs.