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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Mary is the New Garden Planted by God

Hail Mary, Full of Grace! (Luke 1:28)

by Lawrence Fox 

December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, is a feast which speaks about the manner in which God predestined, called, justified, and glorified -- by grace -- Mary, the Virgin Mother of the Word Incarnate. 

All grace comes through the merits of Jesus Christ, whether before or after His life, death, and resurrection, as observed in the life of those sanctified in the past.  Mary was -- from the first moment of her conception -- God's planted garden prepared for the New Adam.   

"The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed." (Gen 2:8)
It was a garden created in justice to receive the old man, Adam, who was formed by God in original justice -- without sin and death. Here in Eden, Adam's intellect and will ruled his passions.  

The new Adam "although He existed in the form of God" (cf. Phil 2:6-11) assumed human flesh -- taking the form of a bond-servant -- in the "New Garden," Mary. She was also planted by God's grace in original justice without sin and death. 

This Mary -- "the New Garden" -- was predestined, called, justified, and glorified by God through the anticipating merits of Christ Jesus (Cf. Rom 8:30) -- all things have been created through Him and for Him. ( cf. Col 1:16).
This "New Garden" -- prepared by God and predestined from all eternity for the "new Adam" -- was the Virgin Mary,  whom the Angel Gabriel identified in the vocative (addressing her by her new name, Full of Grace) as "having been graced one" (perfect passive feminine vocative "kecharitōmenē" because her state of grace was already done and continues to be.) She is the one who found grace before God ("heures gar charin para  tō Theō") (cf. Lk 1:28-30).
Similarly, Stephen the Martyr showed that King David "found grace before God" and desired to build a dwelling place for the Living God, which prefigured Christ's desire to build a temple in which He would dwell amongst men. Such a temple was Mary, Mother of God.  (cf. Acts 7:46). 

When all was spoken by the angel, Mary (the New Garden planted by God) spoke the words of desire to become the dwelling place of God's Eternal Word, "May it become (Optative form expressing desire "genoito") to me according to your message" (cf. Lk 1:38). This was a passionate acceptance. Mary desired to become the Mother of God with all her heart.
And by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. The Immaculate Conception leads directly to the Incarnation.

Happy Feast Day!