The Simple Things in Life: Sermon for Annunciation

The story line is straight forward: the young Virgin receives an angel and she accepts the task given to her. End of story.
Fr. Vasile Tudora | 07 April 2014

O pure Maid, you eluded nature’s laws, conceiving God in ways past understanding. You evaded things proper to mothers in childbirth, even if by nature you were prone to change.[1]

We are again in deep awe at the profound yet simple events that happen at Annunciation. But the most important things in this life are very simple. The story line is straight forward: the young Virgin receives an angel and she accepts the task given to her. End of story. Yet on this very humble and natural acceptance lays the accomplishment of the ages old plan for the salvation of humankind. The simple becomes complex and the complex become simple.

But don’t be fooled by the brevity of the moment. Behind the simple acts a great mystery happens in that very moment because the Son and Word of God, Who existed before the ages, is conceived past speech and understanding, and became flesh in her immaculate body (Luke 1:26-38).

Now we all wonder at how this happens, how did the Son of Uncontainable God, begotten already from the Father before all ages, comes to be conceived and contained in the womb of a virgin that has not known man? How is this possible?

The Virgin asked the same question “How shall this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luk 1:34). The answer she gets just shows that not even the angel knew the depth of what was to happen; he was just a messenger giving a general answer: “The Holy Spirit shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you.” He gives he a bit more proof by mentioning the miraculous conception of he barren cousin Elisabeth but she had no way of verifying this. “And behold, your cousin Elizabeth also conceived a son in her old age. And this is the sixth month with her who was called barren”. But he ends with the very essence of his reply  “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”(Luk 1:35-37) In other words is God’s work, he will make it happen, he always does.

How many would have been happy with that answer? Most would need more proof: how do I know you are an angel from the Lord, show me your ID; how would the conceiving happen; whose DNA the baby will have; what does God overshadowing means etc. etc. The more questions one asks, however, the farther one gets get from the only important essence: God can do it. It is not important how, but it is important that it happens and, even more so, that at this moment the process of our salvation actually starts:

The age-old mystery is revealed today, and the Son of God becomes the Son of man, so that by partaking of what is lower He may impart to me what is superior. Of old, Adam was deceived; and he did not become God, though this was his desire. But now, God becomes man, to make Adam god. [2] 

Do we start now to realize the awesomeness of this simple encounter? A simple yes and the insubordination of Eve is replaced the obedience of Mary; a simple yes and the Son of the most High is incarnate; a simple yes and the Adam of old is replaced by the new Adam, Christ the Savior; a simple Yes and the ages old plan for the salvation of mankind is accomplished.

But this did not happen at random, but at the right time as the prophets foretold throughout the centuries, pre-empting this event above all imagination:

When Jacob saw the ladder that prefigured you, he said, “This is none other than the house of God.” [3] (Gen 28:17)

The bush and the fire revealed to hierophantic Moses a strange sign. Seeking its fulfillment in the course of time, he uttered, shall see it fully in a Damsel pure[4]

You are called, by Daniel, Spiritual Mountain; and the Mother of God, by Isaiah (Isa 49:1). Gideon perceives you as a Fleece (Jdg 6:37-40. And by David you are called Holy Place, and Gate by Ezekiel (Eze 44:1-2).[5]

The Theotokos is the fulfillment of all the Law and the prophets, the people of Israel were waiting for this precious flower to bloom so the sweet fragrance of Salvation would be spread on all the earth.

The Holy Virgin is the link between the created and the uncreated world. She is the tongs that held the hot charcoal to the lips of Isaiah, taking away his sins “Then one of the seraphs flew to me, having a live coal in his hand, snatched with tongs from the altar. And he laid it on my mouth and said, Lo, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.” (Isa 6:6-7). She is the one that brings God into the world so we can all partake of Him and have our sins forgiven by the One without Sin.

In her motherly love is again revealed the unfailing love of God for mankind. The Theotokos is the mediator and the intercessor for us all, in her our sins are forgiven, our burdens are lifted and salvation is accomplished. It is that simple; just say:  Most Holy Theotokos save us! Don’t overcomplicate things but trust in her love until the end.

Let us magnify her as the Archangel did by saying: “Rejoice Mary full of grace the Lord is with you for you have borne the Savior of our souls” Amin

[1] Katavasiae of the Feast, Ode IX

[2] Glory at the Praises, Matins of the Feast

[3] Katavasiae of the Feast, Ode IX

[4] Katavasiae of the Feast, Ode IX

[5] Katavasiae of the Feast, Ode IX

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