Fr Fergus Tuohy SMA preached at the second night of the SMA National Novena in honour of Our Lady in St Joseph’s SMA Church, Blackrock Road on Saturday, 17 May 2014. Fr Tuohy preached the following homily on the theme: Mary, Queen of Apostles.
Mary is always looked upon as our Mother, someone we can turn to and ask to intercede for us in times of need. But Mary is more than that. In the words of Rosalie Marie Levy:
“Mary was not only the Mother, the Inspiration, the Consoler, the Help of the first Apostles; she was their Queen.”
For thirty years Mary had been close to Jesus. She was the constant presence in his life and in the life of his Apostles. She helped the Apostles and she encouraged them in their efforts to preach the Good News.
Mary was always there quietly at their side, always in the background. She was certainly a Gentle, Humble Queen.
St. Jerome tells us that Mary remained for a time on earth after the Ascension of her son, with the Apostles, that she might instruct them more fully. Mary knew about the early life of Jesus. She had been there on the very important occasions in His life. She was able to offer a great insight to the Apostles and she did so more as a mother than a Queen.
This evening, in our readings we are told that the church is not just a building made of stones. Rather, it is made up of people all of us, with Jesus as the cornerstone.
Jesus reminds us in the Gospel that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Mary is very much a part of our lives today. As Queen of Apostles, she is the great inspiration for Missionaries and all of us here. God is a God who gives. As we celebrate Mary tonight as our Queen and mother we also accept the challenge from God to be part of his mission. We pray that we will be generous as Mary is.
Like Mary, we know we owe everything to God. We could make the words of Marys’ prayer our own….”My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord….the Almighty has done great things for me…”.Today we remember Mary as someone who shared the life, passion, and death of Jesus on earth and she now shares his glory in heaven. Mary had to live a life of faith. She had to hear God’s word and do it. Because she is with God now, she can help us and intercede for us – our Mother and our Queen.
Mary has great love for all of us. There is a story told of a woman who had a large family of nine children. Her friend asked her one day: ‘How do you divide your love between so many kids?’ She answered : “I don’t divide my love – I multiply it.” Mary has equal love for all of us.
I would like to finish with a quotation from another powerful woman – a prayer written some years ago, by a mystic and a theologian: Julian of Norwich ,who lived in the 14th Century.
‘God of Love and Life…You give and we receive’
You give with overwhelming generosity,
And we receive with our customary casualness.
You give more than we can ask or imagine,
And we receive, sometimes in wonder………
[Full quote in ‘Praying with the Women Mystics’ by Mary T. Malone ‘A God who gives’. [The Columba Press , 2006.]
May God be OUR refuge and strength and may Mary, our Queen, always be there to intercede for us. Amen.