Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos (small)In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Dear beloved, Christ is born, glorify Him! Let us remember our Lord and Savior, and the Most Holy Theotokos, may she intercede for us before our Lord!

Today we celebrate the Synaxis, or the Sobor-Assemblage of the Most Holy Theotokos, Mother of God, together with St Joseph, King David, and St James the brother of our Lord. We remember their journey with the then infant Jesus into Egypt, escaping the persecution.

As we reflect upon Isaiah 7:14-16, we know that even in the Old Testament, we know of the forthcoming salvation through Christ our Lord, and the Most Holy Theotokos.

And when we read Psalm 113:2-9 (LXX 112), our Lord would humble Himself for our sake, as revealed when He was born and throughout His life.

As we remember this day, the second day of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us remember what it means to us as Christians.

The journey of a Christian is liberation – liberation from the shackles of our passions, unto the arms of our Lord as we repent and pray every step of our journey, hoping to reconcile with God.

While we recognize our ancestral sin we inherited, and our own sins every single day as we struggle to keep afloat, we also must remember that the struggles are not without joy. As we reflect upon Hebrews 2:11-18, we know that our Lord will come to our aid as we struggle, and will not forsake us. There will be difficult struggles, but we are assured that He will be with us until the end of our journeys. It is entirely up to us to accept His Will and His Mercy or not. If we accept Him, we will find great solace and peace in our struggles. We are encouraged throughout Scripture, that we are told not to be afraid (Isaiah 41:10).

Christ called us His friends, and everything God has, Christ our Lord has taught us (St John 15:15). Even more compelling is our Lord’s assurance, is that through Christ, we are no longer slaves, but sons of God; and as His sons, we are to His heirs (Galatians 4:7).

With such encouragement, despite our individual challenges and difficult life journeys in various guises, we recognize that we are to soldier on, not stoically with indifference, but with peace and joy that we can find as we try to abide in Him, our Lord and Christ.

What better way than to pray His Holy Name, “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 7:14-16
Psalm 113:2-9 (LXX 112)
St Matthew 2:13-23
Hebrews 2:11-18