20140814_dormition_koimesis_sqIn the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Dear beloved, let us remember the our Most Holy Theotokos on the Dormition. May our Theotokos intercede for us before our Lord!

God shines His Love and Truth on everyone, but it is not everyone’s choice to listen to God; it is not everyone’s choice to follow Christ our Lord; it is not everyone’s choice to accept God’s Love and Mercy, as we reflect on Proverbs 9:1-11, as with when our Lord said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (St Matthew 11:15, St Mark 4:9).

We commemorate our Most Holy Theotokos, Mother of God, in many ways, on many days, all the time. She is the epitome to our own faith, of how we too, can struggle and receive the merciful Gift of Theosis, as with many of the holy saints and fathers before us; just as we reflect on Isaiah 5:7-16, where God is the final arbiter to judgment and righteousness, and the righteous may approach God through His Mercy.

Our Panagia ceaselessly prayed kneeling, even as the evil one tried to hinder her.

At one time, she asked for St Joseph of Arimathea (who tended to the burial of Christ our Lord) and the holy apostles and disciples of our Lord, because our Panagia knew of her impending repose.

When the disciples gathered, they were unsure why, and Apostle John the Theologian with tears of joy, said to them that our Panagia’s time of repose unto the Lord had arrived. All of them gathered around our Mother, and our Mother blessed them and encouraged them for their faith and suffering in teaching the Gospel to the world. Then the Indescribable Divine Light shone on her, and Christ our Lord came down, surrounded by the holy angels of our Lord, many saints and holy fathers long departed. Our Panagia, on seeing our Lord, bowed down and exclaimed, “my soul glorifies my Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaiden.” Our Lord welcomed her to eternal life, and our Panagia commended her soul to our Lord as if in a blissful sleep. The angels sang, “Hail thou, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou amongst women!” and a fragrance surrounded the atmosphere.

Just as our Most Holy Theotokos obeyed the Will of God from the beginning, as with all the holy prophets and saints have shown us, we are reminded that even Christ our Lord and Savior had humbled Himself and showed us what obedience to God meant (Philippians 2:5-11). It is all about obedience to God that will matter in our entire journey of faith unto God, and it will be the fruitful to our communion with God.

Unto our Lord, we commend trials, sufferings and worries. Unto our Lord, we commend our journeys. Unto our Lord, we commend our lives. Unto our Lord, we commend our spirits. And till our end, we commend all to our Lord, trusting in Him who saves, Him who illuminates, Him who loves.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Let us close by praying the thanksgiving prayer:

It is truly meet to call thee blest, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption thou gavest birth to God the Word: True Theotokos, we magnify thee.

O virgin Theotokos, rejoice; O Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr Raphael+

Readings
Isaiah 5:7-16
Proverbs 9:1-11
St Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28
Philippians 2:5-11