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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Mary at the Annunciation

We trace the Hail Mary prayer to the singular citation of the angel Gabriel to Mary, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). This greeting puzzled Mary, not because of ignorance of her own character, but because of the depth of her humility. We might also wrongly posit timidity in her stance, but such was an expression of reverence and not fear. Here, before her, was an emissary of the Most High God. All the power behind the throne accompanies her heavenly visitor. Nevertheless, she faces him with courage and an openness of both heart and mind. The angel explains, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son; you shall call his name Jesus” (Luke 1:3). The angel brings with him a divine wisdom. Angels are wholly committed to the will of God. He recognizes in Mary a creature of flesh who utterly shares his disposition toward divine providence. Mary embodies a true freedom that always says YES to God. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Mary’s consent was part of a celestial symphony, where God is both the composer and conductor and where she plays her part in the orchestral music of salvation.

What the marital act is for a husband and wife in the natural course of things, Mary’s response was to God’s message; the fruit was the incarnation of the Redeemer.

2 Responses

  1. Dear Fr Joe,

    I would not be at all surprised if there was just a little timidity in Mary’s consideration, afterall where there is no fear there is no need for courage!

    The reality is that Mary might have been only 14 or 15 years old, was betrothed to a good Jewish man, and she, herself was a well educated good Jewish Girl. She would have well known that by giving her consent to the announcement by Gabriel she was setting herself up for stoning to death as a pregnant single young woman…….the Law required it and the husband-to-be would have demanded enforcement of the law.

    Sometimes we paint too much of a chocolate box top picture of the Holy Family, but this was real Judaism and the crucifixation of Jesus, and those two thieves either side of Him proves just how terrible the consequences of the Law would be.

    It would have required a tremendous courage and a tremendous act of faith to say: “be it done unto me according to your word”……..just imagine the awful reality of what she was accepting; but then it’s not everyday that an archangel appears, possibly in full ceremonial robes, or did he just appear to be like any other young Jewish man of the time? St Paul would certainly have us believe that we may not recognise angels as they walk with us through this valley of tears.

    There is so much that will will never know for sure this side of death and I am thankful that I can call on My Mother Mary when that terrible time comes…..in a way I look forward to it, but perhaps, like Mary herself, with some fear and trembling at the thought of its awfulness.

    With love, Paul

  2. Praise be to the Trinity for Our Blessed Mother!!!

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