Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Gospel of Mary - Chapter 11

This chapter picks up with Mary spinning the scarlet thread she had been assigned to weave for the veil for the Holy of Holies. I wonder how often a new veil was needed. We know that when Christ died the curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom, which was something impossible for a human being to do. Is it possible that the veil that was destroyed at Christ's death was the same one that His mother helped to weave?

She goes out to a well to get water which is when the Archangel Gabriel appears to her. Or, not so much at first. As she's out at the well she hears a voice from nowhere: 'Rejoice, favored one, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.' Here's the author's note for this verse: "'Rejoice, favored one, the Lord is with you' are the words the angel spoke to Mary, as recorded in the first chapter of Luke. Xaire was a standard greeting, and is often translated 'Hail,' but literally means 'Rejoice.' The next term, 'favored one' resonates with it pleasingly in Greek; the verb xarito'o, which is in the family xaris, meaning favor, grace, or gift."

She looks around, sees no one and hurries back home. Mary takes up the purple thread this time and begins to spin. Anyone think it's significant that she's spinning the royal color when the Archangel Gabriel appears?

Gabriel appears and tells Mary that she has found grace before God and from His Word she would conceive. Mary thinks about this and then asks if she will conceive and bring forth as all women bear children. Gabriel tells her no, that she will be overshadowed by the power of the Lord and the child born from her will be the Son of the Most High, called Jesus because He will save the people from their sins. In Hebrew Jesus' name would be Joshua, which means 'Yahweh Saves'. It becomes Iesus in the Greek, which is how we come to have Jesus as a name.

Mary responds with the line we all know, 'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.' Thus for the Annunciation.


  1. I love all this background stuff! And, yes, it's cool about her spinning the veil and the color of the thread and all that! :)


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