Mary of the Annunciation

Today’s Gospel is the famous account of the Annunciation from Luke 1:26-38. It includes some indirect proof for two major Marian dogmas of the Church – the Immaculate Conception (which was recently celebrated on Dec. 8), and the perpetual virginity of Our Lady. It also gives us part of the biblical roots of the “Hail Mary”.

When the archangel Gabriel greets Mary, it marks the only recorded incident in scripture that an angel greets someone by their title, not their name. “Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28). This, of course, is the first line of the “Hail Mary”, with the second line, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb”, from Luke 1:42. So much for the ridiculous argument that the prayer is “unbiblical”.

But what of those dogmas? Speaking of the phrase, “Full of Grace”, in the original Greek of Luke’s Gospel, it is an interesting term: “kecharitomene”. It means, literally, “one who has been made full of God’s grace” (biblical translations that render this term “highly favored one”, or something to that effect, don’t cut it) . It’s a past perfect, meaning that, at some point in the past, Mary was made perfectly full of God’s grace. This condition extends out into the future, into eternity. This is exactly what the Immaculate Conception is all about  – that, from the first moment of her existence, Mary was preserved free from all stain of original sin. If one is perfectly full of the grace of God, there is no room for sin.

With respect to the perpetual virginity, Gabriel explains to Mary that she will bear the Messiah, and at this point he has said nothing about Jesus being conceived by the Holy Spirit. Yet, Mary says, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” (Lk 1:34). A very strange question for a young woman to ask, who, as we have already been told, was engaged to be married. Unless, that is, she had already intended to remain a virgin, consecrating herself wholly to God.

7 replies
  1. John Havlicek
    John Havlicek says:

    Thank you for your exposition Cale. My purpose in writing is to get into a respectful discussion with you.

    For me, Luke 1:28 does not teach us to pray to Mary, in fact nothing in scripture teaches us to pray to Mary. Isn’t praying to Mary, by implication to worship her?
    I came from an Asian country where the focus of many Roman Catholics is no longer Jesus Christ, but on her mother. This concerns me greatly. It also concerns me that Mary has become a mediatrix where the Bible only teaches one mediator between God and man, that is Christ Jesus.

    Also, how can Mary listen to millions of prayer simultaneously of believers praying the ‘hail Mary’ as she is not divine?

    She was full of God’s grace does not imply her being free from sin, only that she is full of God’s grace. Nowhere in Scripture does she say clearly that she is free from sin. Doesn’t Luke 1:47 say that she herself needs a Saviour?

    How also can she be perpetual virgin when she had other children? This teaching did not become popular only until 4th century. Thank you for your time in reading my thoughts. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  2. Kay
    Kay says:

    Changing the subject here, at least from midlde school team to Varsity, but are we dropping or moving to another district? Instead of the Holy Bowl the last game of the season, it’ll be the first to kick off the season. True?

  3. Satyajit
    Satyajit says:

    pyridine:你挑剔得沒錯 我的用詞不精確 如果要我作修改 我想我會這樣改 瑪莉不擁有所有物理知識 僅擁有所有general的物理知識 而色盲測試是用來測試瑪莉擁不擁有 紅色看起來是如何 這個general knwegodle 如果我們發現瑪莉在出櫃後才會擁有這個知識 我們至少可以得到結論not P 假設P= 所有general knwegodle都是物理知識 K會蘊含P 是吧 因此如果P為假 K也不會為真

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