THE SERVANT GENERAL
“Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
of the Immaculate Conception
December 8, 2009
angel Gabriel greeted Mary, “Hail, favored one!”
(Lk 1:28a). Other translations render this as “Hail,
full of grace!” The angel did not greet her as “Mary”
but as “full of grace.” In effect, this was her
name. In Semitic usage, the name given to a person signified
that person’s calling in life. For example, her Son
would be named “Jesus, because he will save his people
from their sins.” (Mt 1:21b). And he would be named
“Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
then did this naming mean? It meant that Mary was not only
unstained by original sin, but that she was the embodiment
of perfect holiness. Grace is the free gift of God Himself.
Grace is the means by which one participates in the very life
of God. Being filled with grace meant that Mary was favored
by God, that she was immersed in His love, that God was profoundly
present in her life, that she could live her life in outstanding
holiness, and that God intended to use her mightily for His
God had acted in mighty ways before, as He used individuals
for His purposes. God called Gideon to save His people from
the Midianites. The angel appeared to Gideon saying, “The
Lord is with you, O champion!” (Jgs 6:12). Gideon went
on, with just 300 soldiers, to defeat the Midianites, Amalekites
and Kedemites who were as numerous as locusts (Jgs 7:12).
used a pious widow, Judith, to cause the defeat of the mighty
Assyrian army and thus save God’s people Israel. Uzziah
said to Judith, “Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most
High God, above all the women on earth; and blessed be the
Lord God” (Jdt 13:18).
none of these can compare with how God acted in the life of
Mary. Now God was about an even mightier work, that of bringing
salvation to all the earth. For this purpose He would send
His very own Son. And for that, He would choose a lowly woman
in Israel as His instrument.
so the angel Gabriel made the proclamation. The Lord was with
Mary. The Lord would use her mightily. She was the highly
favored one. She was filled with grace.
The fullness of grace was displayed in Mary’s virtues,
which allowed her to respond with her yes to God, and to truly
be prepared to be used mightily by Him.
she had the grace of humility. She had submitted her life
to God, and accepted that her life was no longer her own,
but God’s to do with as He pleased. Even as the angel
Gabriel’s words greatly troubled her, she took to heart
what he said with openness and surrender.
she had the grace of faith. She knew God could accomplish
anything, even the humanly impossible. She knew that God had
only her good at heart, and she fully trusted that God’s
plan for her life was the best there could ever be.
she had the grace of obedience. She was the Lord’s handmaid,
and she was open to anything God wanted to do in her life.
All God had to do was to say the word and she would obey.
Even today Mary stands out as the prime example of true discipleship.
Grace is necessary for one to be pure and holy. Mary was fully
graced. Thus she is holy Mary.
was pure and holy because she was destined to be the mother
of God. Jesus, the Word made flesh, was “full of grace”
(Jn 1:14). By God’s design, as the bearer of the holy
One, Mary too was made full of grace.
article is taken from the book Forty More Days with Mary)
 Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.
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Mary - Part 6 - Full of Grace[PDF]