Hail Mary, full of Grace

Here's this week's Bible study blog entry for i.ucc:

Hail Mary, full of grace.
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Here is a prayer said by countless Roman Catholic Christians on a daily basis. Some say it out of habit. Some say it for comfort. Others may say it as a way to enter into a connection with God. Still others may see it as a prayer to help them do the things that they know that God wants them to do.  

Here’s a little bit of “I’m a protestant, so I think this is right” background of it.  

The first line – “Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee” Comes from Luke 1:28. In this week’s Bible reading from Luke 1:26-33  it is translated “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” (NRSV)
The next line comes from Luke 1:42 (Not in the short version of this week’s reading, but really close to it!). Elizabeth, Mary’s Cousin (who was pregnant with John the Baptist) said "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! (Saying “Jesus” was added by early Catholic Church leaders)
Then there’s the second part of the prayer – it does not come from the Bible. It is also not a prayer that either worships Mary or sees her as God.  
It asks Mary to pray for those speaking. Kind of like you asking someone to pray for you or for someone else. 

Pray for us, Mary.

Mary -- is a favored one of God – or Full of Grace.  

Mary, an engaged teenager, was going to be the mother of Jesus. Do you think that, at least at first, she dreaded that reality? She was not yet married and she was going to be a mother. And the father was not her fiancĂ©.  

Yes – Mary is a favored one of God. 

What direction are your thoughts about this week’s Bible reading headed?

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