Wednesday April 7, 2021 / March 25, 2021
Fourth Week of the Great Lent: Adoration of Cross. Tone two.
Great Lent. Fish Allowed
Exodus 3:1-8 Theotokos
Proverbs 8:22-30 Theotokos
Luke 1:39-49, 56 Matins Gospel
Hebrews 2:11-18 Theotokos
Luke 1:24-38 Theotokos
Isaiah 26:21-27:9 (6th Hour)
Genesis 9:18-10:1 (Vespers, 1st Reading)
Proverbs 12:23-13:9 (Vespers, 2nd Reading)
THE ANNUNCIATION (BLAGOVESCHENIE) OF OUR MOST BLESSED LADY MOTHER OF GOD AND EVER-VIRGIN MARY
Commemorated on March 25
Sermon of Sainted Proklos, Patriarch of Constantinople
Our present gathering in honour of the MostHoly Virgin inspires me, brethren, to say of Her a word of praise, of benefit also for those come unto this churchly solemnity. It comprises a praise of women, a glorying of their gender, which (glory) is brought it by Her, She Who is at one same time both Mother, and Virgin. O desired and wondrous gathering! Celebrate, O nature, that wherein honour be rendered to Woman; rejoice, O human race, that wherein the Virgin be glorified. “For when sin did abound, grace did superabound” (Rom. 5: 20). The Holy Mother of God and Virgin Mary hath gathered us here, She the pure treasure of virginity, the intended paradise of Second Adam, – the locus, wherein was accomplished the co-uniting of natures, wherein was affirmed the Counsel of salvific reconciliation.
Whoever is it that ever saw, whoever heard, that within a womb the Limitless God would make habitation, Whom the Heavens cannot circumscribe, Whom the womb of a Virgin limiteth not!?
He born of woman is not only God and He is not only Man: This One born made woman, being the ancient gateway of sin, into the gateway of salvation: where evil poured forth its poison, bringing on disobedience, there the Word made for Himself a living temple, bringing in thither obedience; from whence the arch-sinner Cain sprang forth, there without seed was born Christ the Redeemer of the human race. The Lover-of-Mankind did not disdain to be born of woman, since this bestowed His life. He was not subject to impurity, being settled within the womb, which He Himself arrayed free from all harm. If perchance this Mother did not remain a Virgin, then that born of Her might be a mere man, and the birth would be no wise miraculous; but since She after birth remained a Virgin, then how is He Who is born indeed – not God? It is an inexplicable mystery, since in an inexplicable manner was born He Who without hindrance went through doors when they were locked. When confessing in Him the co-uniting of two natures, Thomas cried out: “My Lord, and my God!” (Jn. 20: 28). (Read More By Clicking on Annunciation above.)
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
HYMNS OF PRAISE
THE MOST-HOLY MOTHER OF GOD
OH, WHAT WONDERFUL NEWS: REJOICE, ALL-PURE ONE,
FOR US THOU GAVEST BIRTH TO CHRIST!
OH, JOYFUL NEWS: REJOICE, O VIRGIN,
REJOICE, O MARY, REJOICE, THOU WHO ART FULL OF GRACE,
THOU WHO ART THE GOLDEN GATE!
O BURNING BUSH, UNCONSUMED,
THE DAWN OF NEW SPLENDOR!
GABRIEL COMPOSES THE WORDS, AND HE HIMSELF REJOICES;
THE ANNUNCIATION HE PROCLAIMS!
PROCLAIMS THE ANNUNCIATION: ALL OF HEAVEN LISTENS;
THY SOUL TREMBLES!
THE TEMPLE DIDST THOU SERVE, THOU DIDST CONSECRATE THYSELF TO GOD,
THOU BECAMEST A TEMPLE!
REJOICE, O ALL-PURE ONE, HEAVENLY BRIDE,
THOU ART THE ROYAL THRONE!
REJOICE, O MEEK ONE: TO THE HUMBLE ONE WILT THOU GIVE BIRTH,
AND REGENERATE THE WORLD!
REJOICE, O OBEDIENT ONE: GOD HEARD THEE
AND CROWNED THEE WITH GLORY!
REJOICE, O TEARFUL ONE: BY TEARS SOFTENED,
LUMINOUS IN THE SPIRIT!
REJOICE, O POOR ONE, BUT THE WEALTHIEST ONE
AND BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN!
ENTREAT JOY FOR US FROM CHRIST THY SON,
O VIRGIN, ALL-PURE ONE!
Abba Athanasius was once asked: “How is it that the Son is equal to the Father?” He answered: “Just as there are two eyes but one sight.” The response is admirable. To this we can add: just as there are two ears but one hearing. Similarly for all three Divine Hypostases: just as there are three candles but there is one and the same light.
Contemplate the All-holy Virgin Mary:
1. How she served God for eleven years in the Temple in humility, obedience and devotion;
2. How she served God in her chamber in Nazareth, in humility, obedience and devotion;
3. How in humility, obedience and devotion she received the Divine Annunciation from the Archangel Gabriel.
on the omnipotent Word of God
“For with God nothing will be impossible God” (Luke 1:37).
Then God said, Let there be light, and there was light (Genesis 1:3). Until God spoke, there was no light. Nor was there anyone who could know what light was until God spoke and light came into being. In the same manner, when God spoke, water and the dry land, the firmament of the heavens, vegetation, animals and finally man came into existence. Until God spoke, none of this existed, and except for God no one could know that all of this could exist. By the power of His Word, God created all that is created on earth and in the heavens. Whatever God wanted to exist and called into being, that had to be and could not but have been, for the Word of God is irresistible and creative. The creation of the world is a great miracle accomplished by the Word of God. Having created all things, God again, by His Word, established the order of creation and the manner of behavior and relationship of creatures one with another. This order and manner which God established is a great miracle accomplished by God’s Word.
There exists an order and manner among created things that is visible and comprehensible for us people; and there also exists an order and manner that is invisible and incomprehensible. According to that invisible and incomprehensible order and manner, which is a mystery hidden in the Holy Trinity, there have occurred and are occurring those manifestations that people call miracles. One such manifestation is the conception of the Lord Jesus Christ in the womb of the All-holy Virgin Mary, who had not known man. This appears like an interruption in the visible and comprehensible order and manner, but it is never an interruption for the invisible and incomprehensible order and manner. This birth is truly a great miracle; perhaps the greatest miracle that was ever revealed to us mortals. The entire created world is a miracle, and all the visible and comprehensible order and manner is a miracle, and altogether these miracles came about by the Word of God. Therefore, much in the same way, the Lord was conceived in the Virgin’s womb. All were brought about by the power and Word of God. That is why the wonderful Gabriel replied to the question of the All-pure one (a question asked by all generations: How shall this be? [Luke 1:34]): For with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37).
O Lord God, our Creator, Immortal and Ever-existing Miracle-worker, enlighten our minds that we no longer doubt, but believe; and direct our tongues not to question Thee, but to praise Thee.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.