Reflection for the 21 Sunday of Ordinary time, week beginning 22 August 2021.
If this Sunday, August 22nd, were a weekday, we would be celebrating the Queenship of Our Blessed Lady, exactly 7 days after the great feast of her Assumption.
Her crowning as Queen of Heaven emphasizes that she is far higher than all the saints, both individually and collectively. She is their Queen and their glory. They all delight in her eternally.
Between her Assumption and Queenship, there is the commemoration of Our Lady of Knock (a village in County Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland). This is celebrated on August 17th.
In August 1879 some local people there had a vision of Our Blessed Lady, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, with the centrepiece being the Lamb of God seen upon the altar. Nothing was said by Our Lady or by the saints. They were all humbly subjecting themselves to the Lamb.
The apparition is profoundly Eucharistic – in the Lamb, it points us directly to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
In March 2021, Pope Francis raised Knock to the status of an International Shrine of Our Blessed Lady.
So, August is a richly Marian month.
The very adjective “august” in the dictionary can mean majestic, grand, dignified, stately, noble, imposing, impressive, and exalted – its origin is with the Roman emperors e.g. Caesar Augustus. How much more do these adjectives apply to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the highest honour of our race, and our Heavenly Mother!