A gorgeous woman

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don benzi

Mary is “full of grace”. “Rejoice, thou who art full of grace”, “rejoice thou who have been and remain full of divine favor. I.e. you, who has never been separated from Him. In other words: your relationship with God has never been interrupted by sin, from the womb. You have never been subject to the original sin, that sin which all men carry with them since the moment of conception. In thee, O Mary, there is the fullness of divine harmony. In other words: you are beautiful.

The Lord is with you for ever and ever. You are full of joy. These words overwhelm Mary and she asks herself what is the sense of this greeting. Seeing her perturbation, the angel tells her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for thou hast found grace in God.” In other words God, seeing in advance with respect to us your life, it is as if He fell in love with you, saw you fit for a great task, therefore He hath chosen thee, feeling you with his “grace”, making you partake in his life since the beginning of your life.

“Behold, you will conceive and carry a Son,  and call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Almighty. The Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end”.

Every woman in Israel hoped to be chosen by God to become the mother of the Messiah, the Lord’s anointed, of the One sent by God to be the King savior of the people of Israel.  Indeed, God had foreseen through His prophets, that he himself would have come to shepherd His people, considering the unreliability of almost all the kings of Israel. Mary was not one of these women. She had a mystery inside. She had chosen to not “know” any man, i.e. not to consume the conjugal act with a man. She was a virgin, a betrothed bride, but she would have not had marital relations with Joseph, her husband, a descendant of David.

Despite having contracted a solemn engagement with Mary, Joseph had not yet brought her to his house. She had made a vow of virginity enlightened by the Holy Spirit. This is why she tells the angel: “How is this possible? I know no man.” The meaning of this statement is very clear: she does not say that she has not had marital relations with Joseph yet, but that she had no intentions to have any. As if someone were offered a cigarette and answered: “Thank you, but I do not smoke”. This involves also the fact that Joseph agreed as well that they would have lived as brother and sister.

But the angel answers that the Holy Spirit is not in contradiction with itself. The inspiration that the Spirit had given to Mary to remain intact, would have remained. The Holy Spirit would have intervened so she could conceive without male semen. The conception of Jesus would have been an act of God’s creative almightiness. Mary exclaims: ”I am the handmaid of the Lord; let what you have said happen to me”. ( …)

Mary is beautiful when she meets the old prophet Simeon. He recognizes in the Child Jesus the One expected by the peoples, sent by God for the salvation of his people. Mary would have partake with Christ in the making real of this universal salvation. The old prophet, in fact, addresses her saying: “A sword will pierce your heart, so that the thoughts of many hearts can be unveiled”. Mary will bear in her life the painful destiny of her people. With her Son Jesus, she will be at the center of the contradiction He will awaken: the ruin and resurrection of many people in Israel. ( …)

Finally, Mary’s beauty becomes dazzling in the cenacle. Jesus has removed Himself from the visible presence among His own. Mary, the Mother of them all, Mother of the Church as a whole, is in the midst of them. The Holy Spirit and Mary make Christ contemporary to history. Taken from Mary’s Yes, ed. Sempre

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