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NATIVITY OF THE THEOTOKOS 2017
fr_basil
HOMILY ON THE NATIVITY OF THE MOTHER OF GOD
The birth of any child is an event filled with awe and mystery. It’s not just another entry for the Hall of Records; a new person, a new human being has come into the world, and we can’t help but ask ourselves, what will this newborn person bring to the world, and what will life give him? This is why parents, friends and relatives greet each new child with awe and trembling. This is why the first cry of a newborn baby resounds forever in his parents’ hearts. How will this new person, this new child of God live his life? Will he be talented and capable, will he enrich mankind with a plethora of gifts, or will his days be obscure and mediocre, will he depart unnoticed after tasting sorrows and sadness on this earth, all memory of him lost because he gave nothing to the world? The more that a person gives in his/her life, the more fervently people remember and celebrate their birthday.
The birth of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary is a source of great joy and consolation for the whole world. In the person of the Mother of God, God gave, as a gift to the world, a baby before whom so many people would bow down and offer so many prayers, before whom rivers of human tears would flow. She is the paper for which the creation groaned in anticipation, upon which would be written the Word of God. Who is this baby who would become such a woman? She, herself, explains who she is and what her gifts are to us and to all mankind:
“My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior (Lk. 1:46-47).” Her whole life lies in this: Her soul “magnifies the Lord” that is, she makes God the biggest part of her life. Constantly, every day, she offers up thanks to Him for the wisdom of creation, and for His love and goodness toward all men, no matter what sorrows or disappointments would come her way, especially the sorrows and suffering that filled her heart as she stood at the foot of the Cross.
“And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” In this consists her constant state of being. She saw saw human weakness and vice. She saw hatred and betrayal. She saw cruelty beyond anything a human being can fathom. She sees them also now, and as a mother, her heart is wounded. But despite this, she also resides on high, at the right hand of the Saviour, as the Scriptures reveal: “The queen stood nearby, on thy right hand, clothed in vesture wrought with gold, and arrayed in divers colours. Hear, O daughter, and see, and incline thine ear” (Psalm 44:9 LXX). She remains forever in the heights, contemplating heavenly holiness, and that’s why “her spirit ever rejoices in God her Savior,” because He gave Himself as a sacrifice for the redemption of all mankind. In this deep understanding of her joy of being God’s Birth-giver, we also comprehend the source of her influence on the hearts of the faithful, and all those who pray to her. Truly, all those who in faith have recourse to her maternal aid receive help and consolation.
According to the example of the Mother of God, a Christian should always magnify God and rejoice in Him. In this joy there can be no place for sorrow, depression, or despair, or for feelings of loneliness or alienation. The Lord loves everyone, and his Most Pure Mother intercedes for all of us without ceasing.
How often in life do we experience a thirst for purity, renewal, and joy. And how often do our unworthiness, our sins, obscure the light of joy and Divine brightness? On the day of the Birth of our Lady Theotokos we turn to her, and we ask the Most Pure and Blameless One to help us to be victorious over sin, over all impurity, and over all trials and struggles in life, so that with a pure heart we might glorify God and rejoice in Him. Whoever runs to her with faith and hope will not leave unheard and empty-handed, for to her is given the grace to pray for us and help us. Amen.

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