Scripture & Catechism

37 For with God nothing will be impossible."
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148 The Virgin Mary most perfectly embodies the obedience of faith. By faith Mary welcomes the tidings and promise brought by the angel Gabriel, believing that "with God nothing will be impossible" and so giving her assent: "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word."(Lk 1:37-38; cf. Gen 18:14) Elizabeth greeted her: "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."(Lk 1:45) It is for this faith that all generations have called Mary blessed.(Cf. Lk 1:48)
269 The Holy Scriptures repeatedly confess the universal power of God. He is called the "Mighty One of Jacob", the "LORD of hosts", the "strong and mighty" one. If God is almighty "in heaven and on earth", it is because he made them.(Gen 49:24; Is 1:24 etc.; Ps 24:8-10; Ps 135:6) Nothing is impossible with God, who disposes his works according to his will.(cf. Jer 27:5; Jer 32:17; Lk 1:37) He is the Lord of the universe, whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal. He is master of history, governing hearts and events in keeping with his will: "It is always in your power to show great strength, and who can withstand the strength of your arm?(Wis 11:21; cf. Esth 4:17b; Prov 21:1; Tob 13:2)
273 Only faith can embrace the mysterious ways of God's almighty power. This faith glories in its weaknesses in order to draw to itself Christ's power.(cf. 2 Cor 12:9; Phil 4:13) The Virgin Mary is the supreme model of this faith, for she believed that "nothing will be impossible with God", and was able to magnify the Lord: "For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name."(Lk 1:37, Lk 1:49)
276 Faithful to the witness of Scripture, the Church often addresses her prayer to the "almighty and eternal God" ("omnipotens sempiterne Deus. . ."), believing firmly that "nothing will be impossible with God"(Gen 18:14; Lk 1:37; Mt 19:26).
494 At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that "with God nothing will be impossible": "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word."(Lk 1:28-38; cf. Rom 1:5) Thus, giving her consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God's grace:(cf. LG 56) As St. Irenaeus says, "Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race."(St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 22, 4: PG 7/1, 959A) Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert. . .: "The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith."(St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 22, 4: PG 7/1, 959A) Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary "the Mother of the living" and frequently claim: "Death through Eve, life through Mary."(LC 56; St. Epiphanius, Panarion 2, 78, 18: PG 42, 728CD-729AB; St. Jerome, Ep. 22, 21: PL 22, 408)
497 The Gospel accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus as a divine work that surpasses all human understanding and possibility:(Mt 1:18-25; Lk 1:26-38) "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit", said the angel to Joseph about Mary his fiancee.(Mt 1:20) The Church sees here the fulfilment of the divine promise given through the prophet Isaiah: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son."(Is 7:14 (LXX), quoted in Mt 1:23 (Greek))
706 Against all human hope, God promises descendants to Abraham, as the fruit of faith and of the power of the Holy Spirit.(cf. Gen 18:1-15; Lk 1:26-38. Lk 1:54-55; Jn 1:12-13; Rom 4:16-21) In Abraham's progeny all the nations of the earth will be blessed. This progeny will be Christ himself,(cf. Gen 12:3; Gal 3:16) in whom the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will "gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad."(cf. Jn 11:52) God commits himself by his own solemn oath to giving his beloved Son and "the promised Holy Spirit . . . [who is] the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it."(Eph 1:13-14; cf. Gen 22:17-19; Lk 1:73; Jn 3:16; Rom 8:32; Gal 3:14)
723 In Mary, the Holy Spirit fulfills the plan of the Father's loving goodness. With and through the Holy Spirit, the Virgin conceives and gives birth to the Son of God. By the Holy Spirit's power and her faith, her virginity became uniquely fruitful.(cf. Lk 1:26-38; Rom 4:18-21; Gal 4:26-28)
2571 Because Abraham believed in God and walked in his presence and in covenant with him,(cf. Gen 15:6; Gen 17:1 f) The patriarch is ready to welcome a mysterious Guest into his tent. Abraham's remarkable hospitality at Mamre foreshadows the annunciation of the true Son of the promise.(cf. Gen 18:1-15; Lk 1:26-38) After that, once God had confided his plan, Abraham's heart is attuned to his Lord's compassion for men and he dares to intercede for them with bold confidence.(cf. Gen 18:16-33)