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Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
 

“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” * (St. Luke 1.28)
 

Mary, Mother of God ... a betrothal

Why is Mary “Full of Grace”?

 

“Grace”, we are taught by Holy Mother Church, “is a participation in the life of God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, §1997) — and Mary, the Angel Gabriel declares, is filled with grace! Filled with the life of God, participating in the life of God as no other human being in history. She alone is full of grace, she alone participates consummately in the life of God — even before she bore His Son.

Why?

Because she was to bear His Son. It was from Mary that Jesus took His Sacred Humanity. It was from Mary that He took His flesh, becoming like us in every way but sin. 1

How much closer can a human being be to God ... than to have given Him His very flesh ... enabling, yes, enabling God to become man!

Jesus' flesh was not different from Mary's — it was Mary’s! — just as his Divinity was not different from God's, but was, is, God's.

Ponder that a while ... and look at Mary anew, and her place in the scheme of things, in what theologians call, "the economy of Salvation.”

She was not just “highly favored” as many current biblical translations inexplicably corrupt the Latin text: “gratia plena”. The Latin literally means, “full of grace.”

Abraham was highly favored by God. Moses was highly favored by God. David was highly favored by God. But neither Abraham nor Isaac, neither Jacob nor David, and not even Moses, were “full of grace” — that is to say, fully possessed of that participation in the very life of God with which Mary was endowed through her Immaculate Conception in the womb of her mother, St. Anne. She was to bear, to give flesh that was untainted by sin, to the Son of God

Who can possibly be closer to Jesus Christ both in Heaven and on Earth? Who is — ever will be — more one with Him ... than Mary, whose flesh is one flesh with Him since the moment of His conception in her womb, His Incarnation — and will be for all eternity?

Who is like unto Mary? No man. No other woman. Only her Son.

That we should love her, who loved Him most, is loving Christ Himself in His Sacred Humanity, a humanity inseparable from His Divinity. In Him is Mary as she is in no other; in Mary is Christ as He is in no other!

We cannot love Mary enough. Nor can we separate her from her Son any more than we can separate the Divinity of Jesus from His sacred Humanity.

Look at Mary anew! And if you do not stand back in stupefaction, you are a stone.

Hail Mary! She is full of Grace!

Ite ad Maria! Go to Mary!

How like unto the Son, the Mother, and like unto the Mother, the Son!

 

Geoffrey K. Mondello
for the Boston Catholic Journal

_______________________________

Hebrews 4.15

 

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*Not "favored one" (oddly enough, the New American Bible used by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), had rendered it, "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you" — while translating exactly the same text, from the same version, chapter and verse, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you."

 

 



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