Friday, December 8, 2017

Full of Grace

"You shall be called by a new name pronounced by the mouth of the Lord" (Isaiah 62:3).

Hail Mary, Full of Grace,
The Lord is with you....

"I am the Immaculate Conception" (the Blessed Virgin Mary to St Bernadette at Lourdes, 1858).

Grace can do anything. No one was more completely and profoundly "saved by Jesus" than Mary, whom he saved even from the "Fall" itself so that this daughter of Eve might be in every respect the New Eve, from whose flesh God would bring forth the New Adam.

It was totally, entirely the work of God's grace. "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord," Mary says. "My spirit rejoices in God my Savior" (Luke 1:46-47).

All generations call her "blessed" (Luke 1:48). Ever-Virgin and Mother, who--according to the Lord's plan and by the power of the grace of her Son's redemption that he won on the cross for all times and places--was preserved from sin from the first moment of her existence.

We take up the angel's greeting as we acknowledge the joy of Mary Immaculate, Panagia, All-Holy, Kecharitomene, Full of Grace.

But we don't adore Mary. We adore Jesus, the Eternal Word made flesh in her womb. We love Mary and we depend on her because she brings Jesus to us. So that we might especially trust in God's closeness, he has willed to touch our humanity through the tenderness of a woman's heart. Mary!

Thank you, Jesus, for the wonderful gift of your Mother Mary, for the love of her all-holy immaculate heart. She carries us all and keeps us close to you.

"Behold, your Mother..." (John 19:27).