WEEKDAY HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF OUR LADY QUEEN OF AFRICA
THEME: AND THE MOTHER OF JESUS WAS THERE!
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: * Act 1 : 12 -14, Jn 2 : 1 – 11.
On this day, we celebrate the memorial of Mary, Mother of Africa. This celebration encourages us to turn to Mary in order to experience her maternal intercession and assistance especially in our present circumstances of terrible poverty and bad leadership in Africa. Why turn to Mary, one may ask instead of to Jesus directly? My first answer would be that every honour, attention or supplication we give to Mary is predicated upon the fact that she is the mother of Jesus and so does not diminish our attention to Jesus. According to Scott and Kimberly Hahn, ‘Mary is God’s masterpiece. Have you ever walked into a museum where an artist was displaying his work? Can you imagine his being offended if you were viewing what he considered his masterpiece instead of him?’ ( Rome Sweet Home, p. 140). The honour we give her is called hyperdulia. Only God receives our worship (latria). Other Saints receive lower honour (dulia). Her presence was recognized always by the scriptures, Matt 12 : 46, Lk 11 : 27, Jn 19 : 27. Children of God should also recognize her presence. She said: ‘From henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed’, Lk 1 : 48.
We believe in the communion of Saints ; a kind of Spiritual Cooperative society that takes place within the econometrics of grace. We believe in spiritual networking between the Church triumphant (Saints who have made it to heaven), Church suffering (believers who are still undergoing purgation after death) and Church mmilitants (believers who are still struggling here on earth). Mary plays a major role in this realm of intercessors. At Upper room we hear in today’s first Reading that all the apostles devoted themselves to prayer together with the pious women ( Mary of Magdala, Mary the wife of Cleopas, Mary and Martha the sisters of Lazarus, etc ) and Mary the mother of Jesus was there. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus made two statements , first to her Son Jesus : ‘They have no wine’ and next to the servants : ‘ Do whatever he tells you’. And that summarizes the Marian formula ; She intercedes for us in moments of need and helps us to be holy and obedient to her Son’s will. She has a supreme position in the realm of intercessors. Of course she is not the redeemer. The Church calls her the mediatrix of all graces because she is full of grace. Jesus cannot ignore her requests. She is also so closely wired to the will of God that she cannot ask or pray for anything astray from that. We fly to her patronage for the present threats of Islamization in Nigeria. We pray for places like Imo State, Kaduna, Ebonyi, Venue, etc that have become specimen sites for the Fulanization experiment, praying that this evil government may not end up putting Nigeria under war.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO