Today’s Question: Did you know that the word “virgin” was mistranslated? Instead of “virgin” the word meant “young woman” but was mistranslated.

The Annunciation

Question: Did you know that the word “virgin” was mistranslated?
Instead of “virgin” the word meant “young woman” but was mistranslated.

Isaiah 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel. 

Answer: As if a “young woman” (“almah”) conceiving a child would constitute some type of a sign from God?

Based on a correct interpretation of that very same passage, generations
of young Jewish maidens were known to have solemnly consecrated themselves to God, in the hope of becoming the virgin mother of the promised, Messiah of Israel.

See the Book of Numbers, Chapter 30, for all the specific rules and regulations governing the conduct of consecrated, perpetual virgins (including provisions for marriage) according to Old Testament Law.

An entire Temple Virgin Cult was formed in Jerusalem, just in time for the arrival of the true Messiah of Israel, who is Jesus Christ, the divine son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so obviously not everyone believed that the term might have been mistranslated.

In fact, up until fairly recent times, almost nobody did.

Asked and answered today on Yahoo! Answers. Edited for clarity and content.

 

Annunciation: The day God waited patiently for Mary’s “yes!”

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And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.

And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren. Because no word shall be impossible with God.

And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38)

Text and video

On this March 25th Feast of the Annunciation, the heavens will proclaim the greatness of the Lord.

For centuries Mary has been referred to as the “Morning Star”, the popular name of the Planet Venus. In this configuration, the Morning Star appears with the moon at her feet. The Pleiades (from “peleiades” the Greek word for doves) overshadows the Morning Star. Jupiter, the “King Planet” approaches the configuration.  The symbolism is striking. This is a interesting arrangement for the mystery of the Annunciation which heralds Christ’s coming through Mary.

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Submitted by Bob Stanley

Mary’s fiat: A moment in time which defines all history.

There is a moment in time which defines all history; a moment to which all that came before, all that has come after and all that is yet to come, points as supremely significant.  On March 25th of each Liturgical Year, we remember the event that took place then – the moment when the Blessed Virgin Mary gave her fiat to God’s request that was communicated to her by the Archangel Gabriel – the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord. The significance of this day derives from what Mary’s yes allowed to occur – the moment when our God entered into His own creation and became man. It is the moment when the love of God for us was made manifest like never before since man was created and called into communion with the Creator Who is revealed as Father.

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Our Lady’s Life Before the Annunciation


What was Mary’s life like before the angel Gabriel appeared to her?

Mary’s early years are shrouded in mystery. The Bible doesn’t tell us much about her existence before the Annunciation. However, the few details that the Gospel of Luke provides allow us at least to catch a glimpse of Mary’s life before the fateful day when she would become the mother of the Messiah.

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Great moments in history: “Hail Mary, full of grace.” (Luke 1:28)

“Hail Mary, full of grace …”

The angel Gabriel didn’t “make up” these words. They are God’s … and never (before or since) were they ever addressed or applied to any other of God’s creatures.

After this, it is not at all surprising that, “From henceforth all generations shall call me (Mary) blessed.” (Luke 1:48)

It’s also not surprising that Mary would always be the most constant and faithful disciple of Jesus Christ, closely cooperating with him in his work of redemption … a mission that is still underway today … according to his grace.

Feast of the Annunciation – March 25th

Successfully Recasting the Most Graceful “Do Over”

The image is of a young woman in her bedroom. If you can tell from a portrait that a young woman is beautiful and pure, through and through, you can see it here. She looks like someone you’d want to know, at any time of your life. Young children would be drawn to her. If you’re college-age, she looks like someone you’d want to be friends with. This is the woman the guy who knows what’s good for him is going to want to ultimately settle down with. If you’re the parent of a college-age child, this is exactly who you want your child to hang around with – and would benefit yourself from having around. She’s unassuming, human in real and recognizable ways, complete with some rumpled bed sheets. She sits open and honest and listening and ready to begin the rest of her life in this moment, which could really be any moment.

She isn’t just any young woman. She is the Blessed Virgin Mary. Portrayed by the most luminous light is the angel Gabriel.

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Pope Benedict XVI – On Our Lady’s coredemptive role with Jesus at Calvary

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Pope Benedict XVI – On Our Lady’s coredemptive role with Jesus at Calvary 

On January 11, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI released his 2008 World Day of the Sick Address for February 11, in which he presented his strongest teaching to date on Our Lady’s coredemptive role with Jesus at Calvary. The Holy Father states:

For this reason, Mary is a model of total self-abandonment to God’s will: she received in her heart the eternal Word and she conceived it in her virginal womb; she trusted in God and, with her soul pierced by a sword (cf. Lk 2:35), she did not hesitate to share the Passion of her Son, renewing on Calvary at the foot of the Cross her “yes” of the Annunciation. … Associated with the Sacrifice of Christ, Mary, Mater Dolorosa, who at the foot of the Cross suffers with her divine Son, is felt to be especially near by the Christian community, which gathers around its suffering members who bear the signs of the passion of the Lord. Mary suffers with those who are in affliction, with them she hopes, and she is their comfort, supporting them with her maternal help. And is it not perhaps true that the spiritual experience of very many sick people leads us to understand increasingly that “the Divine Redeemer wishes to penetrate the soul of every sufferer through the heart of his holy Mother, the first and the most exalted of all the redeemed”? (John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris, n. 26)

From an article at Catholic Exchange

The Fiat, and Mary’s Example of Spiritual Living

The Fiat, and Mary’s Example of Spiritual Living
By Fr. Walter Dziordz, MIC (Dec 7, 2006)

When Gabriel the Archangel tells Our Lady at the Annunciation that by the “power of the Most High,” she is to bear the Son of God and name Him Jesus, Mary surrenders herself completely to the Divine Plan in what is known as the Fiat (Lk 1:38). Fiat means quite simply, “yes.”

Mary’s “yes” leads to the birth of Christianity. Her agreement will touch people’s hearts everywhere. Christians will ponder this encounter. Movies will be made! Other religions will even honor this famous conversation between the Mother of God and the archangel.

I would think that the best way to understand the Blessed Mother’s consent to the Divine Plan of Redemption is to let her teach us how to understand it.

On a basic level, her “yes” serves as an invitation for us to also trust in God and to experience God in deeper ways. Her “yes” is an act of mercy not only because by giving birth to Christ she helped secure a means for our salvation, but also through her example, we learn to draw closer to God.

Before Mary came along, so many people must have felt distant from God. Maybe they wished to draw closer to Him but did not really know how. Perhaps they felt as if they weren’t being “fed” spiritually. This is a common phrase these days, to be “fed.” It’s a good one, and right now I would say that by reflecting on the encounter of the Blessed Mother and the archangel, many people have been “fed” over the centuries and are still being fed by it today.

How so? Because when we hear the Word proclaimed, we can look to Mary and learn from her to keep it and ponder it in our hearts as she did (see Lk 2:19). Out of love for her Father, she welcomed the Word even when she didn’t fully understand it.

After all, the Blessed Mother never claims in Scripture to know it all – that she has it all figured out and that any of her experiences with God can be understood right off the bat. Throughout the Gospels, she continually “ponders all these things in her heart.” She sits on them. She wonders about it all, whatever “it” is in terms of her encounter with God.

Her legacy to us is multi-layered. She gives us her experiences with salvation history, along with her method of processing these experiences. That is to say, she pondered the Word in her heart, so that like a seed it would bear fruit in due time (see Mk 4:20).

As our own Mother, she is teaching us how to live as spiritual adults, in the same way our own earthly mothers would teach us how to live as future earthly adults. The stories of her life have been repeated continually over the centuries precisely so that we can strive to live virtuously to ponder the mysteries of faith in our own hearts.

The Blessed Mother is leaving us an example of how to walk the life of the spirit. She is our model, par excellence, of love, trust, and service. She was the first to believe and the first to be redeemed as the preeminent member of the Church.

And, she teaches us to be thankful to God, even when we don’t always understand His ways. With Mary, that is evidenced by the fact that soon after she says “yes,” she visits her cousin Elizabeth and proclaims what we know now as the “Magnificat,” a wonderful prayer of thanks to God for the wonderful things that He has done for her, which include, most of all, the impending birth to our Savior. Yes, there is some understanding on her part already that is both real and deep. But she is still stepping forward to an unknown future out of trust in God.

Trust, of course, is the very foundation of the message of Divine Mercy. The more we trust in Him, the more He pours His graces out for us. Yet, how many of us truly trust with all our hearts? I see many people who tend to honor some aspect of Church teachings while ignoring others that they don’t completely comprehend. For example, the Church teaches us to confess both sins of commission (what we did that was sinful) and sins of omission (the good things we could have done but didn’t). Isn’t it true that most of us tend to only admit to the former?

As for Mary’s Fiat, we honor this particular experience of hers, listen to priests’ sermons on it, watch this or that TV show or movie, and so on. How many of us take the time to so realize the importance of this occasion that we sit down someplace and ponder it in our own hearts, as Mary did – and often? I believe that by embracing the whole of Church teachings we find true understanding, peace, and the joy of the Christian message. And this is mercy – to open our hands and to receive all of the good gifts that the Lord offers to us.

The Fiat? We know what we already know about it. What we still need to come to terms with, however, is that it is a mystery. But it’s not the kind of mystery that pushes us away (as in “who can comprehend a mystery?”). It’s a Sacred Mystery that is calling out for us all the time, but especially now on Dec. 8, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, indeed throughout the whole of Advent, culminating on Christmas Day.

All of our liturgical seasons exist for a reason. These “days” are living events. In addition to “celebrating” them, we are called to ponder them, to allow them to take root. We are called to move more deeply into that truth where Mary and the saints live all the time, waiting for us to join them.

Divine Mercy Sunday is the first Sunday after Easter. To learn more about it, and about the Marians of The Immaculate Conception, click the links:

http://www.thedivinemercy.org/

http://www.marian.org/index.php

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