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Feast of The Annunciation

 

 

And the angel said unto her: Hail, Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with thee;

blessed art thou among women" ~Luke 1:28

 

"And in the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God,

into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,

 to a virgin espoused to a man called Joseph,

of the house of David,

and the virgin's name was Mary.

 And the angel said unto her,

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee

blessed art thou among women.

Having heard, she was troubled at his words,

and thought to herself

what manner of salutation this should be.

 And the angel said to her:

"Fear not, Mary, for thou has found grace with God.

Behold, thou shall conceive in thy womb,

and shall bring forth a Son,

and His name shall be called Jesus."

~Luke 1:28-31

 

The angel continues on and tells Mary

not to be afraid,

that she has found grace and favor with the Almighty.

He tells her she will bear a son

Who will be called the Son of the Most high,

that the Lord God will give Him the throne of David

and that He shall be King

over the House of Jacob forever.

He tells her that His kingdom will have no end.

Mary is too familiar with the Holy Books

to misunderstand the meaning of these words.

She remembers the prophecy of Isaias

concerning a virgin who would bring forth Emmanuel.

She knows now she is the virgin of Nazareth

and shall have the unprecedented honor

of being mother of the new David,

the Messias, the Son of God, Emmanuel.

Putting unlimited faith in the messenger from Heaven,

Mary simply asks,

“How shall this happen, since I know not man?”

The Angel tells Mary that the Holy Spirit

will come upon her

and the shadow of the most High will overshadow her,

and the Holy One to be born

shall be the Son of God.

What fears she may have had in being unable

to keep her vow of virginity she had made to the Lord,

are now removed with the angel’s words.

 Mary gives her consent

to the Divine Plan with the words:

“Behold the handmaid of the Lord;

be it done unto me according to thy word."

Already full of grace, she now receives

a new infusion of grace

as God immediately over shadows her

with His creative power.

 

 

The presence of God in her womb is now more real

than it was in the Ark of the Covenant

when the bright cloud

threw its shadow over the Tabernacle.

Important were the roles played

by the various persons

of both the Old and New Testaments,

in the great drama of our redemption,

but they pale in comparison

with the role of Mary.

To her was given the most sublime,

the most sacred, the most intimate relationship

to Jesus that was ever given to any human

- the relationship of Mother to Son.

For the perfect fulfillment of that sublime office,

almighty God lavished upon Mary

wondrous and unlimited graces and blessings,

for God always prepares the receiver with the

graces necassary to carry out

His Divine Mission.

Indeed, she is the only creature whom

an Angel from Heaven declared to be

“full of grace.”

A soul so singularly blessed and uniquely endowed

by Almighty God

has indeed a most important and unique role

to play in the plan of our Salvation.

 

 

 

 Jesus, knit so wonderfully in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, uniquely human from the moment of conception
in the womb of Mary,Have mercy on us.

Jesus, present at creation, created in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, word made flesh, taking on a human body
in the womb of Mary, Have mercy on us.

Jesus, subject to human development in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, whose Precious Blood first flowed
through tiny arteries and veins in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, hidden nine months in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, begotten by God, nourished by the substance and blood
of His Most Holy Mother in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, leaping from eternity into time, in the womb of Mary
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, revealing with His Father and the Holy Spirit
all wisdom and knowledge to His Most Holy Mother, in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, aware of His role as Redeemer in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Sanctifier of His Precursor from the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal Word, Divine Child, embraced by the Father,
in the womb of Mary, Have mercy on us.

Jesus, raising His Mother to the heights of sanctification,
in the womb of Mary, Have mercy on us.

Jesus, everlasting delight of heaven, in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, manifesting His Incarnation to His Holy Mother,
in the womb of Mary, Have mercy on us.

Jesus, adored and contemplated by His Mother
in the sanctuary of her womb Jesus,
before whom the angels prostrated themselves, in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, in whom the very angels beheld the humanity of the Infant God
and the union of the two natures of the Word in the virginal womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, whose Holy Limbs first budded in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, whose Godhead the world cannot contain,
weighing only a few grams in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Divine Immensity,
once meaning only tenths of an inch in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Sacrificial Lamb, Docile Infant in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, who was to suffer the agony and passion of death,
accepting the human capacity for pain ad grief, in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Lamb of God in the womb of Mary Spare us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Holy Innocent in the womb of Mary Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Son of God and Messiah in the womb of Mary
Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

LET US PRAY:

God, our creator, You formed us as women and men,
equal partners in the stewardship of Your world:
joined forever as sisters and brothers,
yet within each of us lives a rich diversity of different gifts,
different hopes and different limitations.
In Jesus, Your word born fully in our flesh,
You have seen and loved in us all that You have made us to be.
Though graced, we are limited and often weak.
But our weaknesses themselves are no obstacle to Your passion for us.
Teach us to see in ourselves what you have seen in each of us from birth.
Teach us to know our gifts and limits.
Keep us confidently on the path of self-knowledge,
fullness of wisdom, and joy in being Your children.
We ask this through Christ and the Holy Spirit, with You,
One God, forever and ever.

Amen

 

 

Source: The author is the late Marta Catalano, a founding member of The
Helpers of God's Precious Infants located in Brooklyn, NY