REFLECTION FOR THE TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C), Week beginning 4TH SEPTEMBER 2022
As the new academic year begins, we would do well to commend it to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She was the tutor of Jesus in His childhood and adolescence.
Thursday of the coming week, 8th September, is the date on which the Church celebrates her birthday. This date was chosen because it is 9 months on from 8th December, the great feast of her Immaculate Conception. She was conceived Immaculate in the womb of her mother Anne, Joachim being her father. Mary, being the Immaculata, was most singularly selected by God so that the Incarnation, the greatest imaginable event in human history, could take place. God would become incarnate (assuming human flesh) in the Person of His Only Begotten Son, with the Holy Spirit over-shadowing Mary – the wondrous event that we celebrate every Christmas, giving that holy season its true meaning. God’s Son would become human, so as to be our Saviour and Redeemer. He would conquer sin and death in His Passion and Death, and by His glorious Resurrection and Ascension.
September 8th, through the years, has been the date on which many of both genders have taken vows in Religious Life. In many religious communities across the world, the day ends in chapel with the chanting of the ‘Salve Regina’ which is the “Hail, Holy Queen” in Latin. The prayer runs as follows: “Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy. Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley (or vale) of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.”
We take this prayer into the new academic year.