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Christian Prayer

643

servant and through her for all human beings;

29

the second entrusts

the supplications and praises of the children of God to the Mother

of Jesus, because she now knows the humanity which, in her, the

Son of God espoused.

2676

This twofold movement of prayer to Mary has found a privileged

expression in the

Ave Maria:

Hail Mary [or Rejoice, Mary]:

the greeting of the angel Gabriel

opens this prayer. It is God himself who, through his angel as intermedi­

ary, greets Mary. Our prayer dares to take up this greeting to Mary with the

regard God had for the lowliness of his humble servant and to exult in the

joy he finds in her.

30

Full of grace, the Lord is with thee:

These two phrases of the angel’s

greeting shed light on one another. Mary is full of grace because the Lord is

with her. The grace with which she is filled is the presence of him who is

the source of all grace. “Rejoice . . . O Daughter of Jerusalem . . . the Lord

your God is in your midst.”

31

Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just

made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the ark of the

covenant, the place where the glory of the Lord dwells. She is “the dwelling

of God . . . with men.”

32

Full of grace, Mary is wholly given over to him

who has come to dwell in her and whom she is about to give to the world.

Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,

Jesus.

After the angel’s greeting, we make Elizabeth’s greeting our own.

“Filled with the Holy Spirit,” Elizabeth is the first in the long succession of

generations who have called Mary “blessed.”

33

“Blessed is she who be­

lieved. . . .”

34

Mary is “blessed among women” because she believed in

the fulfillment of the Lord’s word. Abraham, because of his faith, became

a blessing for all the nations of the earth.

35

Mary, because of her faith, be­

came the mother of believers, through whom all nations of the earth re­

ceive him who is God’s own blessing: Jesus, the “fruit of thy womb.”

2677

Holy Mary, Mother of God:

With Elizabeth we marvel, “And why

is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

36

Because she gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother;

we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she

prayed for herself: “Let it be to me according to your word.”

37

By entrust­

ing ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God

together with her: “Thy will be done.”

29 Cf.

Lk

1:46-55.

30 Cf.

Lk

1:48;

Zeph

3:17b.

31

Zeph

3:14, 17a.

32

Rev

21:3.

33

Lk

1:41, 48.

34

Lk

1:45.

35 Cf.

Gen

12:3.

36

Lk

1:43.

37

Lk

1:38.

722

490

435

146

495