Mary and the Hail Mary
The Hail Mary
So often as Roman Catholics we pray the Hail Mary. Especially in the month of May I want to dwell on that beautiful prayer.
The first part of that prayer is some very important Bible phrases that we say: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you”.
These are the words that the Angel Gabriel spoke when he brought the message to Mary that she would become the Mother of God's Son. God will become man and that most fabulous salvation event of all time is announced to a simple young girl, Mary.
"Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb."
Those are the words Elizabeth spoke to Mary. After the Angel's message, Mary went to her cousin Elisabeth, who was also pregnant. Elisabeth greets Mary as "the blessed one" because the long-awaited Savior will be born from her.
After these two biblical sentences, we end with the prayer: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death".
We address Mary by her most significant title: “Mother of God” Mary is the Mother of Jesus, Jesus is God. Jesus, the Son of the Divine Father, also became Son of us humans through Mary. Thus She received her title “Mother of God.”
We call Mary by her most significant title and ourselves in the Hail Mary by our lesser title "sinners." In Flanders: “poor sinners”, are people who often fall short. We call on Mary to pray for us. Jesus gave us His Mother as our Mother on the Cross. Jesus told the apostle John on the Cross to represent of all believers: “Behold your mother.” To Mary He said, "Behold your son." Then Jesus gave Mary the maternal task of praying for us.
After she fell asleep, Mary was taken up into heaven. We rely on her maternal intercession. Mary's task in Heaven is to pray to God for us and to bring us to Jesus. The two most important moments of our lives are mentioned in that prayer: "now and at the hour of our death." In those moments, Mary may intercede especially for us in Heaven: “now and at the hour of our death.” Those two moments are significant. The now is essential. No one can change his past; we don't know what the future will bring. Now we must make something of it, allow Jesus into our lives and open our hearts to God's Plan for us.
We also ask Mary to pray for us at the hour of our death, in those moments when our bodies fail and we will meet the Lord in death. She may pray for us so that we will not succumb to our choice for Jesus Christ.
Also, now I want to pray: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among 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. Amen."