"Full of Grace"
14c. fusion of Old English engel (with hard -g-) and Old French angele,
both from Latin angelus, from Greek angelos "messenger, envoy,
one that announces."
Maria was the first.
She was picking grapes
when an angel came down
to the dusty field and said,
"I am a messenger of the Lord
and I come with grave news.
You must go from this place
before men catch you and kill you."
"Why would anyone want to kill me?"
Maria asked. "I'm just a farm worker."
"Men often want to kill the messenger,"
the angel said with a wry smile.
"You are so full of grace
that God has chosen you
to embody a new message."
He enclosed her in his white wings
and led her from the field.
Maria went with him,
awed by his presence and
flustered to be keeping company
with such a messenger.
For a time they walked by the highway
and the angel told her,
"You may always accept rides
that are offered to you on an open road.
They will be safe travel."
"Where am I going?" Maria asked.
"What is the message?"
"You are going about God's work,"
said the angel, "and you are the message."
When he stepped away,
Maria found herself
with wings and tail of her own,
the pure white feathers as fine
as those of a dove
or an angel.
A car screeched to a halt.
"Do you need a ride?"
the driver asked,
staring at Maria's wings.
"I suppose I do," she said.
It was awkward to find a way
to sit with her wings and tail,
but she managed to fit into the car.
"I wasn't expecting to meet an angel today,"
the driver said as he pulled forward.
"You just missed him," Maria said.
"I'm not an angel, just an ordinary girl,
and I don't know what message
I'm supposed to be carrying."
"I had given up hope,"
the driver said quietly,
"until I saw you."
"Oh," said Maria.
"Yes, that's a message
that the world needs."
* * *
Read about the titles of Mary.
Angel etymology is complex.
14c. fusion of Old English engel (with hard -g-) and Old French angele, both from Latin angelus, from Greek angelos "messenger, envoy, one that announces," possibly related to angaros "mounted courier," both from an unknown Oriental word (Watkins compares Sanskrit ajira- "swift;" Klein suggests Semitic sources). Used in Scriptural translations for Hebrew mal'akh (yehowah) "messenger (of Jehovah)," from base l-'-k "to send." An Old English word for it was aerendgast, literally "errand-spirit."
Grapes have deep symbolism.