Jesus Chooses His Mother: Part I


In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her he said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”  Luke 1:26-31

Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.  

The greeting of the angel Gabriel to Mary is of great importance to understand in the context of salvation history. Let’s look at this section of sacred scripture to see how.

First the  Hail” or, as it is also translated “Rejoice” would’ve for Mary, and should for us, call to mind the Old Testament passages that refer to “Daughter Zion” and her “faithful children” rejoicing in the coming Messianic age. For God has chosen to dwell in their midst (Joel 2:23-24; Zeph. 3:14-17; Zech. 9:9).

 

 Chosen to be the virgin mother of the Messiah, Mary is greeted with this word, for she would indeed become the “daughter” who would bring God’s Messiah to the faithful “children”.

Next, the word “full of grace” happens to be one word in the Greek text (kecharitomene) which has a very different expression of the same words Luke uses of Stephen in Acts 6:8 (pleres charitos). Kecharitomene indicates that God has already graced Mary previous to this point, making her a vessel who, has been and is now, filled with the Divine Life.

Different translations such as, “favored one” or “highly favored” are possible but fall short in meaning, because of the special and unique role that Mary accepts at this hinge-point of salvation history. Since God endowed Mary with an abundance of grace, preparing her for this call to divine motherhood, the best translation should be the more exalted one.

This better explains the reaction of Mary after the greeting. But she was greatly troubled at the saying and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.

I mean, look at the text, Gabriel had not mentioned anything to her at this point, of God’s plan for her. So why would she become greatly troubled by the saying and the greeting? It only makes sense in this context.

Again, this is no call to “worship” Mary. Mary calls us to worship her Son, Jesus.

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2 Responses

  1. You are absolutely right when you point out that Mary’s Graced life is not a life given to usurping Christ but rather it is a life given to glorifying the Lord. A trivial fact: I call on he Virgin to help me out in my daily life rather than the Crucified One. Mary seems so near, so easy of access whereas the path of the Lord so tough. Mary is our way to Jesus, none other exists. & I am a confirmed Hindu.

  2. Thank you rhapsodysinger, for your visit and comment. Mary carries with her no judgement of sin, and therefore she does seem so easy to access. And she (as you said so well) will always lead us to her son Jesus for forgiveness.

    Blessings to you this day!

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