Perspectief 2022-57

26 Prof. Dr. Eduardo Echeverria Perspectief solicitor of mankind awaiting Redemption, a mankind which must open itself for the work of the Redemption and which actually did so in Mary.” Yes, there is an absolute divine priority, indeed, predestination, to the election of Mary. Now, adds Huijgen, “Predestinatie sluit vrije keuze niet uit” (137). God has bestowed grace upon her, or favored her, in an entirely special and exceptional way such that her free “Yes” in its entirety is the fruit of that grace. “Hail [Mary], full of grace [Gk. Kécharitôméné; Lat. Gratia plena], the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28). I realize that “favored or graced one” is the literal translation in Greek, and “full of grace” is an interpretation. Huijgen contests this interpretation (35). “Maria is niet vol van genade, maar leeg voor genade. Ze is niet de gever, maar de ontvanger van genade” (62). “[H]et is beter om [Maria] te typeren als ‘leeg voor genade’” (75; 318). Disappointingly, Huijgen never considers the Catholic justification for its interpretation of Lk 1:28. Huijgen’s understanding of Mary and grace reflects a more general understanding of the relationship of nature and grace where “Gods genade scheppend van aard is” (75). I’ll come back to this view of nature and grace below. For now, here is John Paul II’s justification for translating the Greek word kécharitôméné: “The expression ‘full of grace’ is the translation of the Greek word kécharitôméné, which is a passive participle. Therefore, to render more exactly the nuance of the Greek word, one should not say merely ‘full of grace’, but ‘made full of grace’, or even ‘filled with grace’, which would clearly indicate that this was a gift God gave to the Blessed Virgin. This term, in the form of a perfect [passive] participle, enhances the image of a perfect and lasting grace [a complete and enduring condition] which implies fullness. The same verb, in the sense of ‘to bestow grace’ is used in Ephesians to indicate the abundance of grace the Father granted to us in his beloved Son (Eph 1:6), and which Mary received as the first fruits of redemption (cf. Redemptoris Mater 10)” (General Audience, May 8, 1966, in Theotókos, 88). In other words, as the French Jesuit theologian, Jean Galot, S.J., makes clear, “In order to show the distinction contained in the use of the perfect participle, kécharitôméné, which represents a completed action continuing into the present, we would have to translate: ‘She who has received grace and who continues to possess it’. It is not, then, a question simply of the favor which Mary will enjoy when the child is conceived within her, but of a