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Annunciation to St. Mary

by Rev. Dr. P. S. Samuel Cor-Episcopa, NY

The Orthodox Church considers the Annunciation to St. Mary as a very important feast. This is the good news of the birth of the savior of the world.The question is how could God have fulfilled His promise to the first couple, who brought about sin and death to the world by their not listening to the Word of God, They did not believe God, and trusted the word of Satan who appeared to them in the form of a serpent. The longing of man was to be like God., to have the capacity to create from nothing.The temptation was to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree to be like God. They ate, and they fell from God's grace and could not communicate with God and be in His presence. 

Still God had compassion on them and promised their redemption from sin and death. "The woman's offspring will strike the serpent's head" The Son of the woman, the second Eve had to come to this earth, to strike Satanand redeem humanity from sin and suffering and death. So God had to prepare a woman for this purpose. It was Mary who was prepared by God.

We have the beautiful description of this event in our Orthodox morning prayer and also in our evening prayer which may be roughly translated as:

"Mary was standing before God in prayer, the Angel of Godwho was surrounded by flame (presence of God) came to her and spoke to her the message of the birth of Jesus.--- How did she receive the message?the Word went in through her ears and settled in her womb and John says " the Word became flesh" in the womb of Mary. She listened to the wordand the virgin birth has occurred."

My old Mother had told me when I was young that "the son of God became man by the Word entering through Mary's ears." I never comprehended this truth at the time. This is incarnation by "virgin birth"So annunciation is the means by which the Word(the energy from God) entered through her ears and occupied in the womb as flesh, as the Spirit of God that hovered over the primordial "chaos' and brought about creation in the beginning. This was a New Creation, God becoming man (to assume flesh). This is the greatest mystery which we can not explain by words and this is the sacramental principle, the basis of all mysteries (Sacraments).

How can we approach this mystery and what effect we have in our lives.?Our (Orthodox) Liturgy provides an excellent means.

The Orthodox liturgy divided into two sections.

1) The Liturgy of the Word, during which we listen to the readings from the epistles and the Gospel. The Word is being heard by us. It should enter us through our ears and IT should not be allowed to pass through the other ear,We should listen, comprehend and make itdwell in us allowing us to have a virgin birth in us of the son of God. This is what is expected of all conventions. where the Word of God is preached so that those who listen can have a virgin birth of Christ in them. We are not going to enjoy a drama, or enjoy music or even the stimulating speech of a person. (preacher). We have lost the idea that listening to the Word of God is to make us God-bearers as Mary was made the "God Bearer (the Mother of God, Theotokos) We all become bearers of God, He abides in us and we in Him.

2) The second part is by communion with Christ who is present veiled in Bread and Winetransformed by the Holy Spirit.

Annunciation reminds us that Mary obeyed God and willingly submitted to God's will and helped to take away the curse that hasbrought about suffering and death. She became the WOMAN whose son took away the sins of humanity and abolished death. So Mary provided a body to Godwho is spirit, so that he can suffer on our behalf and die. It is in this way that Mary as the representative of humanity participated in the mystery of salvation.

As Mother of our savior she is our Mother, When we eat the flesh of Christ we are actually eating the flesh of Mary which provided the flesh and blood of Christ. By being the Mother of God she is tied up eternally with the salvation of humanity and the whole world. This is why we join Angel Gabriel and Mother Elizabeth to call her blessed, the most perfect Mother. Let us always call upon her to pray to her son on our behalf.

Amen.

See Also:

Virgin Mary, Mother of God
In this ground-breaking work, Cicily Sunny presents the results from her life-long search for Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. It contains information, that was not known before or was not widely known. There are detailed visions of the end of the world and the shape of the coming Kingdom. This is a must-read for all the Christians.

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