Fourth Sunday of Advent

Mary, mediatress of the graces of God 

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. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”  And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived  a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. Lk 1,26-38

Without Mary we cannot neither know nor love God; through her, in addition of knowing and loving him, we receive the gifts, the virtues and the divine grace to live as sons of God our earthly life. Mary is the mediation between the man and God: she acts in the upward direction so that we can meet and love him and in the descending direction to help us to distribute to the men the graces received through the Holy Spirit. These are two aspects of the same mystery. In the today’s gospel we see Mary with her eyes fixed in God, responding to the message of the angel Gabriel on behalf of the entire humanity. She is the purest love which ever elevated from the earth to match the initiative of the divine love. Maria fully devotes herself, with every fiber of his body and his soul, in the God’s plan for her and for humanity, without limitations. She embodies and shows what is the perfect freedom of accession to the divine plan of salvation. The sense of human collaboration more free and pure in God’s plan is conveyed in the today’s gospel. This freedom, which causes to answer “ yes” without preconditions, is the first divine grace, after which the man receives other countless graces. Mary is the best example of the human response to the God’s plan, which began with Abraham . She is not the one who takes the initiative: it is God himself who reverberates in Mary the grace of the complete gift of himself. Let us pray that we can understand something of the love of God, which reaches the point of associating us as creatures to his work. It is in this atmosphere of love and freedom, so bright to be lost in the infinity of the mystery, that the fruit of the incarnation of God in the human history was born. When, flipping through the pages of the gospel, we are astonished in front of the love and the freedom which shine in the words and in the behavior of Jesus of Nazareth, we cannot avoid to think that they descend from the love of God and the freedom of Mary . Let us also pray that God gives the grace to read in a new way the page of the today’s gospel also to our protestant brothers and that the Church may go back to be one and undivided.

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