Friday, October 26, 2012

Hail Full of Grace, Part 3 of 3

Lastly, notice Mary’s reaction to the angel. When Gabriel reveals himself and greets her, “Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be” (Luke 1:29). She was confounded and curious, but did not recoil from the supernatural encounter like other biblical figures. For example, when an angel appeared to Isaiah, he lamented his sins and required absolution before proceeding (Isa 6:1-7). When Peter, John, and James saw the transfigured Christ with Moses and Elijah, those apostles “fell upon their face” and “were so terrified” (Matt 17:6; Mark 9:6). Equally, when John of Patmos saw a vision of the glorified Christ, he “fell down at His feet as though dead” (Rev 1:17); he also “fell down to worship at the feet of the angel” (Rev 20:8-9).
The contrast is remarkable. Mary did not fear and hide from the divine presence; the others did. Why? She was “full of grace” while the others inherited the disordered tendencies of Adam and Eve. When Adam and Eve fell from grace, what did they do? They hid themselves in the garden because they were afraid (Gen 3:8-10), but Mary was not afraid.

Postscript...
Here's a prayer for Mary's intercession. I wrote it ten years ago and just found it again in some old manuscripts. May it serve you well, God willing.

O Woman clothed with the sun (Rev 12:1),
Shine bright with the glory of God!
Our Lord and holy Redeemer saved you from the stain of original sin,
And made you “blessed among women” (Lk 1:42),
And the awe of “the principalities and powers in the heavenly places” (Eph 3:10).
With your free will created and preserved in holiness,
You always chose the good among the world’s evils.
Pray for us that we may imitate you and become good masters of our freedom.
You who said to Saint Bernadette, “I am the Immaculate Conception”, 

Pray for us.
Amen.