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The Profession of Faith

191

“Rejoice, you who are full of grace”

721

Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the mas-

terwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of

time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because his Spirit

had prepared her, the Father found the

dwelling place

where his Son

and his Spirit could dwell among men. In this sense the Church’s

Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in

relation to Mary.

101

Mary is acclaimed and represented in the

liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom.”

In her, the “wonders of God” that the Spirit was to fulfill

in Christ and the Church began to be manifested:

722

The Holy Spirit

prepared

Mary by his grace. It was fitting

that the mother of him in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells

bodily”

102

should herself be “full of grace.” She was, by sheer grace,

conceived without sin as the most humble of creatures, the most

capable of welcoming the inexpressible gift of the Almighty. It was

quite correct for the angel Gabriel to greet her as the “Daughter of

Zion”: “Rejoice.”

103

It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of

God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle

104

lifts up

to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within her the eternal

Son.

723

In Mary, the Holy Spirit

fulfills

the plan of the Father’s

loving goodness. Through the Holy Spirit, the Virgin conceives and

gives birth to the Son of God. By the Holy Spirit’s power and her

faith, her virginity became uniquely fruitful.

105

724

In Mary, the Holy Spirit

manifests

the Son of the Father,

now become the Son of the Virgin. She is the burning bush of the

definitive theophany. Filled with the Holy Spirit she makes the

Word visible in the humility of his flesh. It is to the poor and the

first representatives of the gentiles that she makes him known.

106

725

Finally, through Mary, the Holy Spirit begins to bring men,

the objects of God’s merciful love,

107

into communion

with Christ.

And the humble are always the first to accept him: shepherds,

101 Cf.

Prov

8:1-9:6;

Sir

24.

102

Col

2:9.

103 Cf.

Zeph

3:14;

Zech

2:14.

104 Cf.

Lk

1:46-55.

105 Cf.

Lk

1:26-38;

Rom

4:18-21;

Gal

4:26-28.

106 Cf.

Lk

1:15-19;

Mt

2:11.

107 Cf.

Lk

2:14.

484

489

2676

485

506

963

208, 2619