Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Beauty of the Queen

The Church reads Psalm 44 (45) as a hymn revealing the relationship between the Mother of God and those devoted to Her. The beginning of the psalm describes the beauty and greatness of the King--Christ. Then in the middle (v.10), the focus shifts to the “daughters of kings,” the most significant of whom is the Queen who stands at His right hand “arrayed in a vesture of inwoven gold, adorned in varied colors.” The Queen most often in the Old Testament is the Mother--not the wife, for a King had many wives. These virgins who follow after the Queen (v. 15) and who are brought to the King are to be wed to the King. They have forgotten their people and their father’s house because the King greatly desires their beauty (v.11). That is, they have left all to follow Christ. Their desire for Christ is more than matched by Christ’s desire for them, a desire that took Him all the way to death and hades for their sake.
Following the Queen, these virgin companions of the Queen are brought with “gladness and rejoicing… into the temple of the King” (v 16). In place of their fathers (i.e. what they have left to follow Christ), sons are born to them, the fruit of their desire for God and God’s desire for them. These sons are “new creatures in Christ” who rule over the earth the same way the King rules: in truth, meekness and righteousness (v.5).
“The glory,” the Psalm says, “of the daughter of the King is within.” The metaphor of wife and daughter is mixed. The purpose is to show the closeness of the relationship. The virgin companions of the Queen become both spouse and daughter to the King and themselves, like the Queen, are arrayed with gold-fringed garments, adorned in varied colors (v. 14). The gold reflects the glory (or beauty) that is “within” the virgin daughter/bride of the King. It is the same beauty that is in the Queen and seen in her garments (v. 10). The varied colors represent the specific virtues and acts of love and self sacrifice of each virgin daughter. Each garment shines with the same gold, but is adorned in varied colors.
This Psalm teaches us to honor and follow the example of the Mother of God. Hers is an example of inner beauty, a beauty that the King greatly desires.

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