(Luke 1, 24-38)
“Our salvation begins today…The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin” (Troparion).
Glory to Jesus Christ!
Слава Ісусу Христу!
Dear brothers and sisters!
Today we celebrate the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was time for Jesus to come into the world. The Archangel Gabriel came to tell Mary that she would be His mother. The angel said, “Rejoice, O highly favored daughter! The Lord is with you. Blessed are among women. Do not fear, Mary. You have found favor with God. You shall conceive and bear a Son and give Him the name Jesus”.
This day recalls the Archangel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that God wished her to bear His Son. Mary said “Yes’ to God. The feast reminds us that God wants us to say “Yes” to Him.
The troparion for this feast announces this Gospel event as “the revelation of an eternal mystery: the Son of God becomes a virgin’s Son”. Mary’s response to Gabriel shows us how we are to answer God’s call to do as He asks. If we say “Yes” as Mary did, we too can be filled with Grace. Our Church gives us a prayer that lets us praise the Theotokos as did Gabriel who exclaimed, “Hail, O Woman Full of Grace, the Lord is with you”. This prayer called the Akathist to the Mother of God honors and praises the Theotokos for allowing God to fulfill His plan.
With that consent of Mary, Jesus, Son of God becomes present in the womb of Mary. What joy in the humble heart of Mary to be told that she was chosen by God as the mother of long expected Redeemer’s.
We know that God could have given us a Redeemer in some other way, but that is the way of God chose. We receive Jesus through Mary, and we receive the graces of Jesus through Mary. Mary is the Mother not only of Jesus, Mary is heavenly Mother of all members of Jesus Church.
Comparing Mary with Eve, Church tradition highlights the obedience of the Virgin Mary in contrast with the disobedience of our foremother Eve. Eve is the mother o all living; Mary (the new Eve) is the Mother of the Source of life. Eve lost life (dying in death); Mary accepted and offered the Life, who in the Resurrection overcame death. Eve listened to the serpent and lost Paradise for humankind; Mary listened to God and returned Paradise in Christ.
Church iconography symbolically portrays the virginity of Mary using stars, which are placed upon her forehead and shoulders. Her virginity is a virginity of “mind, soul, and body”.
May Our Blessed Virgin Mary to protect us against all enemies visible and invisible. Amen!
V. Rev. Myroslav Dumych