The Task That Lay Ahead

One of the finest (and historic) fruits of the decades-old deliberations of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) is their Seattle Statement issued in 2005: "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ." Here is one part of their reflection:

The word of God delivered by Gabriel addresses Mary as already "graced," inviting her to respond in faith and freedom to God's call. The Spirit is operative within her in the conception of the Savior, and this "blessed among women" is inspired to sing "all generations will call me blessed." Viewed eschatologically, Mary thus embodies the "elect Israel" of whom Paul speaks -- glorified, justified, called, predestined.This is the pattern of grace and hope which we see at work in the life of Mary, who holds a distinctive place in the common destiny of the Church as the one who bore in her own flesh "the Lord of Glory." Mary is marked out from the beginning as the one chosen, called, and graced by God through the Holy Spirit for the task that lay ahead of her.

The text, with excellent commentaries and study guide, edited by Donald Bolen and Gregory Cameron, is published by Continuum.Blessed feast of Our Lady.


Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is the author of Rekindling the Christic Imagination.

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