check out also CATHOLIC TIMELINE BANNER

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Angelus and the Gospel

It is amazing to me how much Church Teaching is hidden in prayers that we say.

I have spoken before about the connections between the Our Father and Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. Lately though, I have been thinking about the Angelus.

The Angelus prayer is said three times a day at 6 am, 12 noon and 6 pm. It recalls the Annunciation, or the message to Mary from the angel that she would give birth to Jesus. It also recalls the death of Jesus and our hope in a future resurrection.

I have been saying the prayer for years, but only as of late have I come to appreciate it more.

I realized that this prayer is the opposite of the Fall of our first parents in Genesis 3 and is like a miniature version of the Gospel.

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
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.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
Hail Mary . . .
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary . . .

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.
Amen.

How is this prayer the opposite of Genesis 3 and the Fall of our first parents?

In Genesis 3, a fallen angel approaches a woman and gives a message to the woman which she believes. Then, through the woman, the fallen angel also gets the man to sin. Here is how St. James describes falling into sin:
James 1:12-15 Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.

In the Incarnation, another angel, the Archangel Gabriel, comes to another woman, Mary. Mary believes the message of the angel. Then because of her trust in God, Jesus is conceived in her womb.

So there are three characters in each story. An angel, a woman, and a man.

In the Fall, we have Satan, Eve and Adam.
In the Redemption, we have Gabriel, Mary, and Jesus.

This is remembered and proclaimed every time we say the Angelus.

Amen - this prayer - IS the Gospel.

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Also, when we pray the Hail Mary we are proclaiming a fulfillment of Genesis 3:15:

Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you (the devil) and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

Notice here that the enmity, which means enemies, is between Satan and the woman, and between the seed of Satan and the seed of the woman.

This woman of Genesis 3:15 in none other then Our Lady, and her seed is Jesus.

Now, in the Hail Mary we say, "Blessed are you among woman, and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus."

Right there is the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15. The woman is Mary and the fruit of her womb, her seed, is Jesus.

So I encourage you to pray the Angelus everyday, and recall the great gift of salvation that we have from the Living God!

No comments: