Day 252: Queen of heaven
Jeremiah 43:1-13 In spite of Jeremiah’s admonition to remain in their land, they fled to Egypt anyway. Jeremiah went along reluctantly, assuring them that Babylon would defeat Egypt soon and consequently rule and oppress the Jewish people as well, so the Judeans would find themselves under Babylonian rule once more.
Ch 44:1-30 In Egypt, the Jewish people returned to idolatry in the belief that their troubles came from rejecting the Canaanite gods under King Josiah. Jeremiah reiterated strongly that worshiping an idol in place of the one true God was the cause of their misfortune.
Judith 15:1-13 The Assyrians fled in fear, but the pursuing soldiers of Israel cut them down in their retreat. The Israelites then divided the spoils left behind by the rival army.
Ch 15:9 This verse may be prayed in the Responsorial Psalm on the Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.
Ch 16:1-25 Judith’s song of praise is very similar to the Psalms. It recounts the Assyrians’ defeat and praises God for his greatness and mercy. Again, we see Judith as a type of Mary (TYPOLOGY!!) insofar as they both played major roles in overcoming the forces of evil.
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
Despite Jeremiah’s prophetic word, a group led by Johanan forcibly take Jeremiah and Baruch, his secretary, into Egypt.
There, the refugees settle in the great cities of Tahpanhes and Memphis, as well as Migdol and Pathros.
In a sense, the journey of these survivors of the Babylonian invasion only furthers the reversal of the Exodus.
Not only does this remnant of Judah regress geographically into the land of Pharaoh, but many also end up turning once again to Egyptian idolatry while living there (Jer 44).
Jeremiah continues to insist that the journey is contrary to the will of God and that their migration will only bring down further judgment:
“Therefore hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: Behold, I have sworn by my great name, says the Lord, that my name shall no more be invoked by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, ‘As the Lord God lives.’ Behold, I am watching over them for disaster and not for good. All the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end of them. And those who escape the sword shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah, few in number; and all the remnant of Judah, who came to the land of Egypt to live, shall know whose word will stand, mine or theirs.” (Jer 44:26-28)
This word of the Lord was realized some twenty years later, when Nebuchadnezzar invaded Egypt and defeated Pharaoh Hophra.
As Nebuchadnezzar’s and Daniel’s dreams both make clear, the Babylonian kingdom will not last forever.
While this “golden kingdom” has its time of power, that time will come to an end by yet another kingdom.
And this change in world power will precipitate the release from exile for those of God’s people who are willing to make the arduous journey home.
(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)
So shall we single out a Proverb today?
We’ve been on a roll for a while!
Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Through thick and thin
In the good times and the bad times
That’s one of the markers of someone that you know you can TRUST
That’s one of the markers of TRUE FAMILY
That’s one of the markers of a TRUE FRIEND
Fr. Mike remembers listening to a man who said that the mark of a true friend is one to whom you can tell GOOD NEWS and they will REJOICE with you
They won’t try to tear you down.
They won’t try to make it negative
But you can tell them good news and they will REJOICE WITH YOU
Also, a good friend is one you can tell BAD NEWS to
They will MOURN WITH YOU
They will GRIEVE WITH YOU
That’s what Proverbs 17:17 says
That CONSISTENCY OF FRIENDSHIP
One of Fr. Mike’s brother priests in his diocese said, “Joy is MULTIPLIED when it is SHARED. Grief is DIVIDED when it is SHARED.”
Something like that
He probably said it in a more eloquent way 😉
“Joy shared is multiplied and grief shared is divided.”
Ok that sounds more eloquent 😉
When we can rely on those friends and family of ours through the good times and bad times
In sickness and in health
For richer or poorer
For better or worse
THOSE PEOPLE WE CAN TRUST
We all know that we are not very trustworthy all the time
That’s just the fact of being a HUMAN BEING
Brace for the segue
Jeremiah Chs 43 and 44, he is warning the people of JUDGMENT
Because they have decided to go to Egypt because they don’t want King Nebuchadnezzar to come back to Judah and kill them all
They FORCE Jeremiah to go with them
They KIDNAP him!
They say that he is LYING to them!
“The Lord our God did not send you to say do not go down to Egypt to live there.”
So they take Jeremiah with them
Jeremiah warns them, “This is what’s going to happen in Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar or some other powerful kingdom is going to come there and you will be destroyed by sword, by famine, by pestilence. You will not get out of this.”
Because they go to Egypt and what do they do?
THEY TURN BACK TO IDOLATRY!! (OH FOR THE LOVE OF PETE!!! HERE WE GO AGAIN!! 🤨🤨🤨)
IT IS THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING EVER!!
Those Jews who were exiled to Babylon
Those who had to LEARN HOW TO LIVE among foreign people
NOT TO DESTROY THEM
NOT TO CONQUER THEM
To TRULY LEARN how to belong to the One God here in Babylon and then come back to Israel
They will not have as much of an issue with idolatry
Yes, the Greeks will come in and try to force them into idolatry and force them into becoming Hellenistic
We will see that in Maccabees
They are not really going to give into idolatry AS A PEOPLE
Sure, individuals will give in
BUT NOT AS A PEOPLE
NOT AS THEY DID IN THE PAST
Even in Egypt Jeremiah points out, “You are offering incense, you are offering libations, you are offering sacrifice to this goddess called the queen of heaven.”
So who is this “queen of heaven”?
This is important for a couple of reasons
Who is it that the Jews in Egypt are worshiping?
The goddess Ishtar aka Astarte aka Ashtoreth
1 Kings talks about Ashtoreth
She is a goddess of fertility
The people are saying, “Ever since we stopped doing this, we have been in really bad shape.”
Jeremiah is saying, “No no no! You turned away from the living God. That’s why you are in bad shape. Not because you stopped worshiping the queen of heaven. Not because you stopped worshiping Ishtar or Astarte or Ashtoreth.”
The people believe they need to have this SUPERSTITION in order to be SECURE again
Jeremiah makes it very clear THAT IS NOT WHAT IS MAKING THEM SECURE
So one of the reasons to highlight the term “queen of heaven” is that CATHOLICS will refer to Mary as the QUEEN OF HEAVEN
We refer to her as QUEEN OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
The FIFTH GLORIOUS MYSTERY OF THE ROSARY is the CORONATION OF MARY AS QUEEN OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
So SOME people will say, “Why would you use this term?”
The question is great because we love questions
THE ACCUSATION AND SAYING THAT IS ONE OF THE REASONS THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IS A CULT, THAT IS NOT EVEN BIBLICAL!
Because look at Jeremiah Ch 44 that describes this “queen of heaven” as this GODDESS that is CLEARLY AGAINST THE LORD GOD!
WHY WOULD YOU CLAIM THAT MARY IS THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN?
THAT PROVES THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS A CULT!!
Just because we use SOME SIMILAR WORDS as are used at OTHER TIMES in The Bible or in the history of Judaism or the history of Christianity DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE USING THEM IN THE SAME WAY!!
OBVIOUSLY, WE DO NOT CONSIDER MARY TO BE A GODDESS
Mary is SIMPLY HUMAN
AT THE SAME TIME…
We talked about this before when we were reading through 1 and 2 Kings
In the Kingdom of Israel, the king had MANY WIVES
So who was the QUEEN?
Which of the WIVES was going to be the QUEEN of the kingdom?
NONE OF THEM WERE!
Because the king had MANY WIVES
The king had ONLY ONE MOM
The MOM OF THE KING was the QUEEN
She was the GEBIRAH
She was the QUEEN MOTHER (Do you remember when we learned this? Would you like a refresher? Go back and read Day 144: David’s Last Words in The Bible in a Year Study Guide and see for yourself 😁)
JESUS IS KING OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
JESUS’ KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD BUT IS TRUE
SO JESUS’ MOM WOULD BE THE QUEEN!!
JESUS IS LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
THAT MEANS THAT MARY IS THE QUEEN MOTHER!!
THERE IS THE CONNECTION!!
NOT ONLY IS THAT LOGICAL
NOT ONLY DOES THAT FLOW FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT REVELATION WE HAVE ABOUT JESUS AND HIM FULFILLING THE KINGDOM PROMISED TO ABRAHAM ALL THE WAY BACK IN THE BEGINNING OF SALVATION HISTORY
In Revelation Ch 12, John looks into Heaven and sees a HEAVENLY WOMAN CROWNED WITH STARS!!
Here is a WOMAN who WEARS A CROWN
What does she do?
SHE WAILED ALOUD AS SHE GAVE BIRTH
SHE GAVE BIRTH TO THE HOLY ONE WHO WOULD DESTROY THE KINGDOM OF SATAN ON THE EARTH
Who is that HOLY ONE? 🤔
THAT IS JESUS!!
The one giving birth to Him is HIS MOM!
HIS MOM CROWNED WITH STARS!!
So when we say that Mary is the QUEEN OF HEAVEN, we are NOT SAYING IN ANY WAY SHAPE OF FORM THAT THERE IS A CONNECTION TO JEREMIAH CH 44 WITH THIS FALSE GODDESS
MARY IS NOT A GODDESS!!
MARY IS SIMPLY A HUMAN THAT GOD DID SOMETHING INCREDIBLE WITH!
JUST LIKE JUDITH!!
WHICH IS REMARKABLE!!
What does Judith do?
She gets PRAISED SO MUCH
She is EXALTED
She is LIFTED UP
Judith has this prayer
Judith 16:13-15, “I will sing to my God a new song: O Lord, you are great and glorious, wonderful in strength, invincible. Let all your creatures serve you, for you spoke, and they were made. You sent forth your Spirit, and it formed them; there is none that can resist your voice. For the mountains will be shaken to their foundations with the waters; at your presence the rocks shall melt like wax, but to those who fear you you will continue to show mercy.”
Judith is being PRAISED AND EXALTED
And she directs ALL THAT PRAISE AND ALL THAT HONOR TO THE LORD!!
That is what ALL OF US who are FOLLOWING THE LORD…
INCLUDING MARY THE MOTHER OF GOD
INCLUDING MARY THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
ALL OF THE GLORY AND HONOR WE GIVE TO ANY OF GOD’S CHILDREN
IT ALL GOES TO THE FATHER
IT ALL GOES TO THE SON
IT ALL GOES TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
Whenever we praise God’s children, what we are doing is that we are PRAISING WHAT GOD HAS DONE IN THEM AND THROUGH THEM!!
So JUDITH gets PRAISED and she DIRECTS IT TO GOD
MARY gets PRAISED and she DIRECTS IT TO GOD
WHEN YOU AND I GET PRAISED WE DIRECT IT TO GOD
BECAUSE GOD IS THE HOLY ONE!!
WHAT A GIFT!!
THAT WE GET TO BE HIS SONS AND DAUGHTERS!!
FR. MIKE IS PRAYING FOR YOU
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER THAT WHEN WE RECEIVE PRAISE WE CAN DIRECT IT TO THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER THAT WHEN WE RECEIVE BLAME OR WHEN WE RECEIVE CRITICISM THAT WE CAN FIND CONSOLATION IN THE HEART OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we thank you. Thank you for your Word. Thank you for your will, your heart, for everything. Lord God, we thank you for this journey on Day 252. Gosh, Lord, thank you for giving us the perseverance to keep pressing play, the perseverance to keep listening to you, and also in the midst of all of these prophets as we are coming to an end of all of this, thank you for that persistence. And thank you for revealing maybe the prophets to us for the first time ever. We thank you for someone like Jeremiah. We thank you for Jeremiah himself, who was unfailing in listening to your Word and said it even when it was unpopular. Thank you for giving him to us as an older brother, as one of the cloud of witnesses that surrounds us as we race to you, to your Son, Jesus Christ. And it is in His name that we pray. Amen.”
BONUS LESSON FOR TODAY!!!
Fr. Mike mentioned Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, specifically the FIFTH GLORIOUS MYSTERY which is Mary being crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth. As Catholics, we pray The Rosary as a DEVOTION. It is NOT WORSHIPING MARY. It is meditating and contemplating the life of Jesus Christ through various events in His life here on earth. Think of it as holding Mary’s hand as she guides us through the life of her Beloved Son. The Joyful Mysteries cover the events from the Annunciation to Jesus being found in the Temple after three days. The Luminous Mysteries cover the events of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The Sorrowful Mysteries cover Jesus’ Passion and Death. The Glorious Mysteries cover Jesus’ Resurrection, Ascension, The Holy Spirit, and Mary’s Assumption and Coronation. Now how the Rosary came about as a devotion can be a discussion for another time. But here I will focus on what we call the LORETO LITANIES. These are the various titles given to Mary, the Mother of Jesus aka the Mother of God (since Jesus is God) and we pray this litany at the end of The Rosary. After each title of Mary we say, "Pray for us."
MARIAN LITANIES OF THE WEST
In the liturgy of the Western Church the word litany is derived from litania, meaning prayer of invocation or intercession.
It also meant, up to the twelfth century, a procession with intercessory character, also known under the designation of rogation.
Speaking of litanies in the classical sense, the Church has approved for official use the following ones: The Litanies of All Saints, probably the oldest, the Litanies of the Names of Jesus (1886), the Litanies of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1899), those in honor of Saint Joseph (1909) and the Precious Blood (1960) as well as the Litanies of Loreto (1531-2020).
THE LITANY OF LORETO
The Litany of Loreto, so called because of its use in the sanctuary of Loreto (Italy) since at least as far back as 1531, was officially approved in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V.
Its origin is believed to be a medieval rhymed litany influenced by Eastern Marian devotion, in particular by the famous Hymnos Akathistos.
Contrasting with the older Litany of All Saints, the components of the Loreto Litany are purely avocational or invocational prayers.
It is the only approved Marian litany.
As can be observed, for example, in the so called Officia Mariana, many more Marian litanies were and are in use but designated for private devotion.
The 1587 version of the Litany of Loreto was subsequently enriched with new advocations.
1675 Queen of the most Holy Rosary (for the confraternities of the Holy Rosary)
1883 Queen Conceived without Original Sin (Leo XIII for the whole Church)
1903 Mother of Good Counsel (Leo XIII)
1917 Queen of Peace (Benedict XV)
1950 Queen Assumed into Heaven (Pius XII)
1980 Mother of the Church (John Paul II)
1995 Queen of Families (John Paul II)
2020 Mother of Mercy (Francis I)
2020 Mother of Hope (Francis I)
2020 Solace of Migrants (Francis I)
THE COMPOSITION AND MEANING OF THE LITANY OF LORETO
The Litanies of Loreto are structured as follows:
1. Mary's Holiness -
Three introductory advocations highlight Mary's sanctity as person (Sancta Maria), her role as mother of Jesus Christ (Sancta Dei Genitrix), and her vocation as virgin (Sancta Virgo Virginum).
Mary's sanctity is stressed.
(1) Holy Mary (Sancta Maria)
(2) Holy Mother of God (Sancta Dei Genitrix)
(3) Holy Virgin of Virgins (Sancta Virgo Virginum)
2. Mary, the Mother -
Fourteen advocations refer to Mary as Mother.
The purpose of this series of advocations is to highlight the various facets of Mary's role as mother.
Some of these advocations, especially at the beginning (1-4) and at the end (13-14) of the series, are referring explicitly to her maternal activity and the addressees (Christ, the Church . . .) of this activity.
(1) Mother of Christ (Mater Christi)
(2) Mother of the Church (Mater Ecclesiae)
(3) Mother of Mercy (Mater Misericordiae)
(4) Mother of Divine Grace (Mater Divinae Gratiae)
(5) Mother of Hope (Mater Spei)
And again, at the end of the series:
(13) Mother of our Creator (Mater Creatoris)
(14) Mother of our Savior (Mater Salvatoris)
The intermediate advocations (4-10) qualify or characterize the person of Mary as mother, mainly with adjectives:
(6) Mother Most Pure (Mater purissima)
(7) Mother Most Chaste (Mater castissima)
(8) Mother Inviolate (Mater inviolate)
(9) Mother Undefiled (Mater intemerata)
(10) Mother Most Amiable (Mater amabilis)
(11) Mother Most Admirable (Mater admirabilis)
(12) Mother of Good Counsel (Mater boni consilii)
[Mother of Fair Love (Mater pulchrae dilectionis)]
Mary attracts love and admiration, and she is of good counsel, but most of the characteristics mentioned (4-7) refer to the miraculous and virginal birth of Jesus.
3. Mary, the Virgin
The advocations of Mary Mother are followed by six titles extolling her as Virgin.
They stress not only the merit of her virginity, but also the "efficacy" of virginity.
(1) Virgin Most Prudent (Virgo prudentissima)
(2) Virgin Most Venerable (Virgo Veneranda)
(3) Virgin Most Renowned (Virgo praedicanda)
(4) Virgin Most Powerful (Virgo potens)
(5) Virgin Most Merciful (Virgo clemens)
(6) Virgin Most Faithful (Virgo fidelis)
4. Symbols of Mary -
We then have thirteen symbolic advocations, mostly taken from the Old Testament and applied to Mary which highlight her virtues and her eminent role in salvation history.
Fun Fact: Most of these symbols are taken from the Song of Solomon and ALL OF THEM can be found in the Old Testament!! Now go back and read the Old Testament and see for yourself!! 🤯🤯🤯
(1) Mirror of Justice (Speculum justitiaé)
(2) Seat of Wisdom (Sedes sapientiae)
(3) Cause of Our Joy (Causa nostrae laetitiae)
(4) Spiritual Vessel (Vas spirituale)
(5) Vessel of Honor (Vas honorabile)
(6) Singular Vessel of Devotion (Vas insigne devotionis)
(7) Mystical Rose (Rosa mystica)
(8) Tower of David (Turris davidica)
(9) Tower of Ivory (Turris eburnea)
(10) House of Gold (Domus aurea)
(11) Ark of the Covenant (Foederis arca)
(12) Gate of Heaven (Janua coeli)
(13) Morning Star (Stella matutina)
5. Mary, the Helper -
The group of five advocations that follows extol Mary's role as advocate for spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
(1) Health of the Sick (Salus infirmorum)
(2) Refuge of Sinners (Refugium peccatorum)
(3) Solace of Migrants (Solacium Migrantium)
(4) Comforter of the Afflicted (Consolatrix afflictorum)
(5) Help of Christians (Auxilium christianorum)
6. Mary, the Queen -
The last part of the Marian advocations is composed of a series of 13 titles referring to Mary as Queen
Mary is Queen of Saints and inhabitants of heaven
(1) Queen of Angels (Regina Angelorum)
(2) Queen of Patriarchs (Regina Patriarcharum)
(3) Queen of Prophets (Regina Prophetarum)
(4) Queen of Apostles (Regina Apostolorum)
(5) Queen of Martyrs (Regina Martyrum)
(6) Queen of Confessors (Regina Confessorum)
(7) Queen of Virgins (Regina Virginum)
(8) Queen of all Saints (Regina Sanctorum omnium)
There are five advocations which emphasize the personal holiness, distinction, and role of Mary's queenship:
(9) Queen Conceived Without Original Sin (Regina sine macula originali concepta)
(10) Queen Assumed into Heaven (Regina in caelum assumpta)
(11) Queen of the Most Holy Rosary (Regina sacratissimi rosarii)
(12) Queen of Families (Regina familiarum)
(13) Queen of Peace (Regina pacis)
(Litany of Loreto in Context https://udayton.edu/imri/mary/l/litany-of-loreto-in-context.php?fbclid=IwAR1nDbDRlHthM_zCKBZofeiZU4gUqbN5eb0R7_EW4xwTIZAxeXoXQu25PLg )