Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Queen of Hearts

When the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph presented the child Jesus in the Temple, St. Simeon, evidently a Jewish priest, joyfully received this long awaited Messiah into his hands. But from his joy, a prophetic utterance came forth from his mouth. It was a message for Mary, the Mother of God. If you read Luke chapter 2, you should notice that St. Simeon does not address this prophecy to St. Joseph. After all, by the time Jesus would begin his public ministry St. Joseph is believed to have already passed away.

In any case, this prophecy concerning Mary does not only pertain to her suffering and grief as the Mother of Sorrows, but it also speaks to the redemptive effects which followed. St. Simeon prophesied, in addition to the Christ being a "sign of contradiction," that the Mother of the Christ will have something to do with hearts being revealed. Christ the King, that is, the Son of God who will inherit the nations (cf. Psalm 2), will judge the living and the dead. But His judgment will not take place without the participation of Mary, Queen of heaven and earth.

Interestingly, the phrase “many hearts being revealed” in Scripture has something to do with Judgment Day. St. Paul makes reference to this when he wrote the Corinthians: "Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God." (I Corinthians 4:5) Elsewhere in the Gospel of Luke our Lord speaks of this grand exposure of thoughts, words, and deeds. He said, "There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.” (Luke 12:2-3) Adding to this, St. Hilary, an early Father of the Church, understood the word “sword” as God’s Word on Judgment Day. He argued that the sword that pierced Mary shall dissect and lay open the hearts of men. This is the force of the words from the book of Revelation about Christ, “And from His mouth there went forth a sharp two-edged sword.”

This prophecy of St. Simeon concerning the Blessed Virgin, therefore, tells us that by Christ's redemptive sacrifice on the Cross- and through the piercing of her soul -the children of light and children of darkness will be separated for all eternity. The former will be given their reward whereas the latter will be punished. Indeed, from this passage of Luke 2:33-35, we can infer that Mary will be very much a part of Christ's Second Coming when God's mercy and justice will be meted out for one last time.

Down through the ages the Saints have taught that a fervent devotion to Mary, Queen of heaven and earth, is a sign of predestination! As such, hearts that are favorably disposed to her will undoubtedly be hearts acceptable to the King.