To prepare her for saying “yes” to His invitation, God made Mary full of grace. This is the Immaculate Conception. —Echoing the Mystery
“Hail, full of grace” (Luke 1:28). In the book of Genesis, there is a lovely hint of Adam and Eve’s relationship with God before the fall. “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking about in the garden at the breezy time of the day” (Genesis 3:8). At this sound, they hid because sin had distorted their image of God. This is significant, because we can readily assume that walking with God, listening to Him, and conversing with Him was a way of life. We witness this same pattern throughout Scripture. For example:
Noah was a righteous man and blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. (Genesis 3:8)
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said: “I am God the Almighty. Walk in my presence and be blameless.” (Genesis 17:1)
While God called Noah and Abram to walk with Him, neither was greeted like Mary. The paradigm was shattered when the archangel Gabriel proclaimed, “Hail, full of grace,” setting into motion the promise of a redeemer made in Genesis 3:15. Mary’s “yes” unties the knot of Eve’s disobedience. From the moment of her conception, Mary shared in the fullness of God’s divine life (grace). Like Adam and Eve before the fall, she walked and conversed with God, and as St. Augustine said, she knew Him intimately in her heart before conceiving Him in her virginal womb.
During this beautiful month of May, when we specially honor Mary, may we, too, walk with God and, in simplicity, converse with Him by rejoicing and offering praise for His goodness.
Spot the Virtue
We all experience times when our emotions and feelings seem “out of whack.” There could be a lot of reasons, and it is always good to spend time asking ourselves—why? Is the cause rooted in sin, or is there an underlying reason that needs to be healed? The virtue of temperance enables us to bring order into our life and moderate our desire for pleasures. The fruits of this rebalance or moderation are joy, peace, and goodness. Trust me, it isn’t easy, but with God’s grace, it is possible.
Name: Sara, you have really progressed on when to use your words and when not to do so.
Explain: I noticed how you refrained from making a negative comment when that person was unkind to you.
Express: Thank you for showing the other students that it is possible to not respond to unkindness. Your silence enabled the person to reflect upon their actions.
Spot the virtue in one person this week.
Spend time meditating on the Hail Mary and the marvelous gifts of Mary’s yes.