Full of Grace!

Luke 22:25-26
And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.”

At the time Gabriel appeared to Mary, there was an emperor who ruled the known world.  His name was Augustus Caesar.  The standard form used in greeting among citizens of the empire at that time was “Hail Caesar!”  In other words, Augustus was spoken of by his title, not his name.  Mary too, is addressed by a title when Gabriel appears to her: “Hail, Full-of-Grace!”  The implication of the title is astounding and beautiful, but what stands out in comparison to the Roman greeting is how humble it is.  Mary is who she is, not because of she schemed her way to the top, but because she is the least and is entirely sustained by God’s grace.  “He has cast down the mighty in their arrogance and lifted up the meek and the lowly.”

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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