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Gospel Reflection for December 12, 2022
“In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, ‘Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’” (Luke 1:26-30 NABRE)
A major difference between Catholicism and other denominations is our belief in the importance of honoring Mary and in her power to intercede on our behalf. Oftentimes, Catholics are accused of committing idolatry because of the reverence with which we offer to Mary. This, however, is not the case.
The practice of praying to Mary and honoring her originates from the Scriptures. When the angel Gabriel first appeared to Mary he said,
“Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28)
Notice the term “hail.” This term is usually used towards someone who is highly regarded. So, for an angel sent by God to use such a strong greeting as “hail,” towards a human, he was clearly regarding Mary as honorable.
Consequently, when we pray to Mary and say, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you,” we are simply following the example of the angel Gabriel, which was written down for us in the Scriptures.
After Gabriel told Mary that she would conceive and bear the Son of God, Mary did not hesitate to submit to the will of the Lord.
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
If you’re struggling with understanding God’s will or purpose for your life, and perhaps feel fearful or anxious about it, I encourage you to turn to your spiritual Mother. Commend yourself to her motherly care and protection and ask for her intercession. She desires God’s will to be done, and will help bring you to her Son.
So, like Mary, and with her, offer yourself to God as His servant and pray that His will be done.