Before time began, God has been constantly honored, glorified and praised, by Heavenly creatures—the myriads of Holy Angels. All the while, God had a Plan. He would add to His Creation! He would create the Universe and Mankind. God created Adam and placed him in the Garden of Paradise. He gave Adam a suitable companion—her name was Eve. And everything was good!
Eons later, in Nazareth, there lived a holy man and woman—Joachim and Anne who had a beautiful daughter named Mary. Mary’s parents were devout Jews, and they consecrated their daughter to God. When she was very young, they proclaimed Mary to be consecrated as a Temple Virgin. That meant that Mary would take a vow to live her entire life in a virginal state, in the Temple, for the honor and glory of God.
Consider this: After The Fall of Adam and Eve [Mankind], God warned the fallen angel [the serpent], “I will put enmity between you and the woman …” That was also a part of God’s Plan.
One day, God made good on his promise. He sent the Archangel Gabriel to carry a message to Earth, and deliver it to that same beautiful girl—Mary of Nazareth. God’s greeting was “Hail, Full of Grace…” Yes, God Himself was the very first to say, “Hail Mary”, and He did so, lovingly, by a message delivered by the Archangel Gabriel. God could have called her Mary, but He chose to addressed her, “Full of Grace”.
Mary was full of grace because God made her that way. He did so for a reason—His Plan. In the Garden of Eden, when God warned Satan that He would put enmity between him and “the woman”, that woman was Mary. From the very start, Mary was chosen to bear the Son of God by the power of the Holy Spirit—all the while maintaining her vow of perpetual virginity. Mary didn’t understand how it could be, but she never doubted and she never hesitated to obey the Will of God. Mary selflessly, and with great humility, accepted her roll in our salvation. Mary gave birth to The Son of God—Jesus, the Christ!
Thirty years later, there was a wedding at Cana of Galilee. In those days, wedding celebrations lasted for days. At the height of the party, the host ran out of wine! It was a serious problem. Mary approached Jesus and told him, “They have no wine.” Jesus told her that His time had not yet come [to begin His public Ministry]. Mary understood, but she told the wine stewards, “Do as He tells you.” Jesus told them, “Fill these pots with water.” And they filled them to the brim! Somehow, suddenly the water turned into wine! Not only wine, but the finest wine served at the wedding feast! It was a miracle! In fact, it was Jesus’ first public miracle!
Consider this: God, the Father, said, “Hail Full of Grace.” Jesus, the Son of God, said, “Fill the pots with water.” They each spoke of “fullness”. At Cana, in response to Jesus’ command, they filled the pots “to the brim”. That meant no more could be added—the vessels were filled to capacity. At Nazareth, God the Father addressed Mary as “Full of Grace.” According to God’s own word, Mary was 100% grace! That precluded her from having a trace of sin—Mary was “filled to the brim” with grace! That is because God created Mary for the holiest possible purpose—to bear His Beloved Son, and to give birth to our Lord and Savior.
Mary was conceived Full of Grace. That is the only logical, and theological way she could have been full of grace. That phenomenon is called “The Immaculate Conception” because of that unique gift of God who chose her, and kept her free from sin from the moment of her conception. Being without sin, Mary was the first human being to be redeemed by our Lord—her offspring—Jesus. Mary was redeemed before she was conceived because that was always a part of God’s Plan. Mary is the “woman” whose offspring will “crush the head of the serpent!” It certainly makes sense that the Mother of Jesus had to be “Immaculate”. Mary of Nazareth was the very first Christian!
Many people misunderstand “The Immaculate Conception” as having to do with the Virgin Birth of Jesus. That’s not it. The Immaculate Conception is about Mary’s conception, not the miraculous conception of Jesus.
As Christians, we should honor Mary as the Mother of God, but never worship her. As Christians, we should love Mary as Jesus loves His Mother. Remember, Mary is Human, not Divine, not a Goddess, and not a Muse … she is one of us! From the Cross, Jesus said to Mary and John, “Behold your son.” and “Behold your mother.” When Jesus gave John to His Mother, He gave His Mother to every Christian. Mary is OUR Mother, too.
Mary reigns as Queen of Heaven and Earth, as she fulfills the role of Queen Mother of the King of Heaven and Earth. In the Book of Revelation, the only one who could possibly be “a woman clothed in the sun with the moon at her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head” would be Mary … our Queen.
Having said all of this, it is sad that many Christians belittle Mary’s importance in their Salvation. Many have cast her out of their churches altogether. If I wanted to please Jesus, and to show Jesus I loved Him, I would surely treat His Mother with respect. I would like to get to know His Mother better. After all, she is not only the Mother of the Son of God, she is also the highly favored Daughter of God the Father, and she is the Spouse of The Holy Spirit. To get to know someone, you must talk to them. That is why I pray to Mary—to talk to her. At the wedding feast at Cana, someone talked to Mary, and Mary talked to Jesus, and Jesus did what the person who talked to Mary needed. Jesus saved that wedding through Mary. Jesus saves all Christians through Mary.
There is a saying, and it is true:
“No Mary … No Jesus
Know Mary … Know Jesus”