I was born in the month of May, and I’ve been working in the Catholic Church for nearly 25 years, so you’d think I’d be somewhat of an expert on the Blessed Mother. Not so, I’m afraid. I still have much to learn.
My family and I started watching a video series on Our Lady a couple of weeks ago, and I was amazed at how much I didn’t know. (See my review here.) It’s not that I didn’t appreciate Mary’s role in salvation history; I simply didn’t understand her role in my life and in the life of the Church today.
Just as the queen mother in ancient Israel played a significant role in the establishment of her son upon the throne, so too does Our Lady play an important role in her Son’s rule as King of the Universe. Her whole being is invested in the spread of Jesus’ kingdom — the salvation of souls.
In her role as Queen of Heaven and Earth, Mary’s primary role is to intercede for us. We can draw a great analogy from Bathsheba — King Solomon’s mother — in the book of Kings. She sat on a throne as Queen Mother and interceded mightily on behalf of Solomon’s subjects. She was their most powerful, and therefore preferred, advocate.
So why not bypass Our Lady and go straight to Jesus himself? We certainly can, but think of it this way: If you want to gain favor with your boss or someone of influence for whatever reason, your chances of success are far greater if you also make friends with those closest to him. If you’re on a first-name basis with your boss’ assistant and his wife, your chances of being heard are far greater than if you only approach him directly.
Similarly, if we want to grow closer to Jesus — which we all should strive for — it makes perfect sense to grow closer to His mother. The Church teaches that Jesus has assigned Our Lady a special place in the time before his second coming. She is the one who ultimately crushes the head of Satan (Gen 3:15 and Rev 12:1).
Ultimately, we should love Our Lady because Jesus does. He has always honored his mother. The sinless Virgin Mary, assumed into heaven body and soul, is the first and most perfect disciple. She is our model for faithful discipleship. Begging her intercession and following her lead is certainly the surest way to holiness and to heaven.
PATRICK NOVECOSKY is Legatus magazine’s editor-in-chief.