Monday, 23 December 2013

Hail Mary: Unveiled

        It’s a prayer we’ve been reciting since we could talk, but how often do we really take the time to think about the inferences and significance of what we’re saying? In the light of the last profile on Mary, let’s take a moment to reflect on the magnitude of the impact that Mary’s ‘yes’ had on the world, and consider what we actually mean when we pray to her. 

Hail Mary, full of grace…
We give you praise for your obedience and willingness to serve the Lord and bring Jesus into the world. We admire your incredible humility and openness to God’s will. We hail you as God Himself hailed you when He sent His angel to greet you.

…the Lord is with thee…
When the Angel Gabriel appeared to you, he praised you not for your own works alone, but because the Lord our God was with you and in you. He sent His angel to comfort you, chose you to bear His only son, and is now sitting next to you in Heaven.

…blessed art thou amongst women…
Of the billions of women who have lived throughout the ages, God chose YOU as the only one who would give birth to His son in human form. We stand in awe of the favour bestowed upon you. You are the embodiment and fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old Testament.

…and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
From you came our Saviour, our Messiah and our entrance to Heaven. When we worship Jesus we are reminded that he was born of a woman to live on earth as a human being just like us. Our True God was made True Man through you: you are the vessel which allowed Heaven and Earth to meet.

Holy Mary, mother of God…
Your role in the life of God the son was the same role so many women play today, the role which is unchanging in every era: a mother. You are truly pure, and yet have suffered the hardships we endure on earth. We approach you with our needs as we would our own mothers, because you know what it is to live this life.

…pray for us sinners, now…
We know that we are fallible, and that we are poor sinners. We humbly implore your intercession to your son, who died so that our sins could be forgiven and wiped away. We ask this of you in the present moment – the here and now – because we recognise our faults and seek to offer them up to Jesus in order to embrace every moment of the life God has given us.

…and at the hour of our death.
We pray that you would be present at the moment of our passing, as you were present at the death of our Lord, and that you would lead us to your son in paradise. When we look back on our lives, may we appreciate the work of God in the ‘now’ by the aid of your intercession.


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