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."
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 angels 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,
Jesus, conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, uniquely human from the moment of conception
Jesus, present at creation, created in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, word made flesh, taking on a human body
Jesus, subject to human development in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, whose Precious Blood first flowed
Jesus, hidden nine months in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, begotten by God, nourished by the substance and blood
Jesus, leaping from eternity into time, in the womb of Mary
Jesus, revealing with His Father and the Holy Spirit
Jesus, aware of His role as Redeemer in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, Sanctifier of His Precursor from the womb of Mary,
Jesus, Eternal Word, Divine Child, embraced by the Father,
Jesus, raising His Mother to the heights of sanctification,
Jesus, everlasting delight of heaven, in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, manifesting His Incarnation to His Holy Mother,
Jesus, adored and contemplated by His Mother
Jesus, in whom the very angels beheld the humanity of the Infant God
Jesus, whose Holy Limbs first budded in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, whose Godhead the world cannot contain,
Jesus, Divine Immensity,
Jesus, Sacrificial Lamb, Docile Infant in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, who was to suffer the agony and passion of death,
Jesus, Lamb of God in the womb of Mary Spare us, O Lord.
Jesus, Holy Innocent in the womb of Mary Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Jesus, Son of God and Messiah in the womb of Mary
LET US PRAY:
God, our creator, You formed us as women and men,
Source: The author is the late Marta Catalano, a founding member of The
Helpers of God's Precious Infants located in Brooklyn, NY