Who is she?

Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array?

This woman is greeted by the angel with Hail! Full of Grace! This is her new name. In the greek, Kecharitomene, means that it is an action that began in the past and continues to the present. It is the grace that transforms the soul. So even before the angel appeared to girl from Nazareth, she was infused with grace since her conception, orienting her whole mind, heart, and soul to her savior.

This young lady is a creature and needs salvation, just like all of us, yet, she received the fullness of salvation, the fullness of redemption in anticipation of Christ’s saving work. She is completely dependent on God like all of us. Let me say it another way.  

If sin is viewed as a pit, we have all fallen in and through baptism have been pulled out by Jesus. Yet there is one who never fell in the pit because of the graciousness of God who loved her before there were mothers. In either case, we all need a Savior.

She is not preserved from Original Sin for her sake, but for the sake of Jesus Christ. She is given grace entirely, so she can be the extraordinary mother of God who takes on human flesh. She can be fully alive as she nurses him, teaches him to pray at temple. She is given this grace, so that at the moment of our Lord’s agony, she is the only one who stands at the foot of the cross. 

At every moment of her life, her heart had open doors to the Word Incarnate. Her heart was the first to receive the mercy and love of God completely. With this said, we turn to the very proclamation that the church announces today through it’s first Jesuit Pope to hold the reigns from Vatican City. Today, Papa Francesco announces an extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. What is mercy? Best put by Bishop Michael Barber of Oakland, another Jesuit, who said, “Mercy is where love meets suffering.”

In this extraordinary year that begins today, the faithful are exhorted to celebrate the event of where love meets suffering in our work and ministry, to celebrate where love meets suffering in our personal lives as we care for our souls by going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Priests throughout the world are exhorted to provide the encounter where love meets suffering in the Confessionals for penitents to reconcile themselves to God and the Church. The faithful are exhorted to make pilgrimage to the holy doors to encounter the God who welcomes us. We can encounter the God who meets us where we are at in our lives, the God who goes out of our boundaries to find us. The God who needed a mother like all of us.    

Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array?


She is Mary who is more than a docile woman. She is a fierce warrior Queen whose greeting by the angel is beginning of the new Kingdom. She is the  New Eve who tramples over the pride of Satan. 

Mary brings forth the Eternal Morning into our midst. Mary call us to the confessional, Mary calls us to works of mercy, Mary calls us to open the doors of our parishes and our hearts to Jesus. All of this is possible because she is the Immaculate Conception.

Mary teaches us how to be fully human & completely alive, trusting in God’s will. Mary exhorts us with her final recorded statement in scripture, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5).  The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Immaculata, the Mother of the encounter where love meets suffering. We go to the altar, asking Mary to give us her heart, that we may love Jesus as she has loved him, for she is the world’s first love, the woman made for the morning when the stars were still young.


About TheAspiringCatholic

Welcome and thank you for visiting this page! You’ll find my personal reflections on Christian Discipleship, insights on my adventures throughout the world, one day at a time, and musing everything Catholic and musical with a cup of coffee each morning.
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