Saturday, August 21, 2010

Holy Mary, Mother of God

…Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name.” Luke 1:41-49 emphasis mine

Mary is important. Without her, our faith is incomplete. Who is the path to salvation? Jesus. Who is the Son of God? Jesus. Who is the Redeemer? Jesus. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. But that doesn't mean Mary isn't important.

I didn't make up the above passage. It's from Sacred Scripture, people. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17

So, like it or not, what Elizabeth says is important. We believe all scripture is God-breathed, yet Luke still says Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit before she spoke. She gives due homage to God and to the fruit of Mary's womb (Jesus), but that's not all.....

Elizabeth doesn't say, "Why was it granted to me that the LORD would come to me"....she says "the MOTHER of my Lord come to me." Is Mary MORE important than Christ? Never....but Elizabeth was blessed by a visit from the MOTHER of the Lord. Mary is important.

To be called "Blessed" or "full of grace" (the greeting by the angel at the Annunciation. Luke 1:28. Some versions say "favored one" or "one given special grace", it seems at times that there are as many translations as there are people) was not a common greeting. In fact, look at Mary's reaction in the following verse: But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this might be.

Why was she troubled by the greeting? Because full of grace was not a common thing to be called. This was a greeting for someone special.

Back to the original passage. Elizabeth recognized and addressed Mary as one set apart. In fact, it was the voice of Mary in greeting that caused the child in Elizabeth's womb to leap. I always assumed it was the presence of Jesus....but that's not what Elizabeth says.

And then look at Mary's response to what Elizabeth has to say. From this day forth all generations will call me blessed? We know Mary was not fact, the opposite. She was a lowly servant of God. She always pointed people to her Son. She still does. Everything about Mary, every devotion to Mary, is allll about growing closer to Christ. She was determined to fulfill the will of God and He set her apart, filled her with grace, removed the stain of original sin from her life so she could be the Ark of the Covenant and the God-bearer.

Mary is important.

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