#DailyDevotion Hail You Blessed One! The LORD Is With You!
Luke 126In the sixth month God sent the angel Gabriel to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man by the name of Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28Coming into her home, the angel said, “Greetings, you blessed one. The Lord is with you.”
The sixth month, that would be six months from when the angel appeared to Zachariah the father of John the Baptist. This would have been on or around March 25th when the Church celebrates the Annunciation, today’s Gospel reading. Shoot ahead nine months and you will land on December 25th coming up quickly on our heels. The angel Gabriel is sent to a small town in Galilee, which is in the north of Judea, to Nazareth to give some good news to a virgin there who is engaged to Joseph, who happens to be a descendent of David. The LORD is fulfilling his promise to his servant David to have a descendent sit on his throne forever.
When the angel came into her home, he greeted her, “Greetings, you blessed one. The Lord is with you.” Now maybe you heard this translated differently, “Hail Mary, full of grace.” We’re not changing the meaning any here, just making it clear to modern ears. Mary indeed is the blessed one. The LORD is declaring her full of grace or blessing or favor. It is the declaration that makes it so. She is receiving it from the LORD.
Why is she the blessed one? Because she is the Woman of Genesis 3:15 (15And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your descendants and her Descendant. He will crush your head, and you will bruise His heel.”) and her seed is the seed of the same. She is the Virgin of Isaiah 7:14 (Look, the virgin will conceive and have a son, and His name will be Immanuel [God-Is-With-Us]!) What greater honor among women is to be the Woman, the Virgin who will give birth to the Savior of the World, Yahweh, the God of Israel, in the flesh and joined to the seed of Abraham and David? Many mothers may think their son is the best but Mary actually will have the literal claim of giving birth to God. Not that God has his origin in her but rather he deign to join himself with her seed and be made flesh. The LORD indeed is with Mary.
And now through the preaching of her son Jesus Christ, by the preaching of his innocent suffering and death, yes death on a cross, Jesus has won for you salvation. He has delivered you from your death and the eternal Lake of Fire. By his rising on the third day Jesus has won for you the resurrection of the flesh into his eternal kingdom on the Last Day. Jesus’ messengers, those who bear this message, through this message make this known to you and manifest to you what was made known to Mary, “Grace, Hail, Greetings you blessed one, filled with grace. The LORD is with you!” Yes, that which is Mary’s is now yours in your hearing the Good News of Jesus. He is conceived and given birth in your hearts in hearing you have been saved by him and through baptism you are sealed in him. You have been favored by God with this message. Jesus has come to take reign of your heart, mind and spirit have you reign with him for all eternity.
Gracious God and Father, you fulfilled your promise to our first parents, to Abraham, to David and to kings through your servant Mary by joining to her flesh your Son Jesus Christ of Nazareth, making him the Savior of the world. Grant us repentance unto faith in Jesus that he may be born in our hearts and live his life in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.