Mary, 'full of grace,' agreed to bring the Son of God to Earth
And he came to her and said, 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!'"
This Bible verse is from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:28) — one of the three synoptic Gospels — and it's part of the story of the Annunciation – when the Virgin Mary was told by the archangel Gabriel that she would conceive and bear the Messiah.
Also known as Luke the Evangelist, Luke is widely regarded as the author of both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, according to Christian website Overviewbible.com.
Luke wrote more of the New Testament than anyone else — even more than the apostle Paul, that site notes. "Luke wasn’t an eyewitness to Jesus’ ministry, but he lived during the first century, and according to his own writings, he ‘carefully investigated everything from the beginning’" (Luke 1:1-4), the site also says. While traveling alongside the apostle Paul, "he also likely had direct access to the apostles and other accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry," the site also indicates.
Luke's Gospel has the most complete story of the events leading up to and directly after the birth of Jesus Christ. The importance of the role of Mary in this story and during the Advent season cannot be understated, Dr. Mark Miravalle told Fox News Digital.
"From manger scenes to postage stamps, from Christmas cards to Advent hymns, the image of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ makes its universal appearance during the Advent season," Miravalle said.
Miravalle is a professor of theology and holds the Constance Shifflin-Blum Chair of Mariology at Ave Maria University in Florida. He is president of the International Marian Association as well as the author and editor of more than 20 books. Without Mary, said Miravalle, there simply would not be a Christmas season.
"Nine months before December 25, a young Jewish woman ‘full of grace’ was invited to become the 'Mother of God,'" said Miravalle. Ten verses later, Mary consents to this, saying, "Let it be done to me according to your word." "Thus, we believe that a human woman gave a human nature to the second Person of the Trinity by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that Jesus Christ, God and man, could redeem the world," he said.
As Advent is a season of spiritual preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas, the season "rightly honors the human cooperation of a woman in God's loving plan to bring humanity its Savior," said Miravalle. "How powerfully this manifests God’s profound respect for the dignity of the human person, for our free cooperation in his divine plan of salvation, and for the special dignity of woman," he said.
Rather than a pastor, priest or any other male, the "greatest human role in the story of Jesus Christ" was a woman — his mother, Mary. "It was Mary who voluntarily and consciously united with her divine Son during His entire mission of Redemption, which eventually brought her with Him to the foot of the cross for their unified goal of human salvation," said Miravalle.
Mary, with her "full response of faith and human motherhood," brought Christ to the world, he said. "There is no competition between the divine Jesus and the human Mary, but rather a son and mother’s union of heart in obedience to the Heavenly Father’s plan, which led to the glorious birth and ultimate victory of the Savior of the world."
While it was Mary's cooperation with God that resulted in Jesus coming to the world, "in the same way, each of us has a role to play in bringing the Christ child into our world anew," said Miravalle. "For without Him, there will be no peace."