“Today is the beginning of joy for all the world; today the winds that bring the tidings of salvation blow.” “The barrenness of our nature has been loosed.” Such are the words with which the Church sings of the Birth of the Holy Theotokos. Eight days after we celebrated the New Year of the Church, we are now celebrating another New Year, a new beginning for the whole universe, Her Birth.
Why eight days? Because eight is the number of eternity, eight takes us out of time, the repetitive cycle of the seven days of the week, into eternity. With the birth of the Theotokos, there is hope that Eternity, the Pre-eternal God, will enter into human history, into human time. The Uncreated will penetrate into the created. This will be a mystery beyond understanding.
The Holy Virgin was born in the natural way, but not out of lust, but out of the pure wish to give birth to and bring up a child devoted to God. Her father, Joachim, was of the line of David, king and prophet; her mother Anna, was of the line of Aaron the priest. Their daughter will come to give birth to the Almighty and Unique King of kings, Prophet of prophets and Priest of priests, to Christ himself.
Today the barrenness of our nature has been loosed. We were barren because until Christ was born through the virgin, we were condemned to sin, passion and death, as those who reject the message of Christ remain today barren and condemned to sin, passion and death, But if we have heard the voice of Christ in our souls, then we are no longer barren, but spiritually fruitful.
Sts Joachim and Anna worked together with the Holy Spirit, with spiritual truth. This was the beginning of their joy. If we can do the same, it will be the beginning of our joy too. We too can free ourselves of the barrenness of our nature, if we stop thinking about our material well-being and start thinking about our spiritual well-being. Then we too will give birth to spiritual truth like Sts. Joachim and Anna. Amen
Nativity of the Theotokos
Sunday September 21st, 2014
Submitted by Fr. Nicholas Dilendorf
St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Chicago