Vladimir icon of TheotokosIn the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Let us commemorate the meeting of the Vladimir Icon of our Most Holy Theotokos. May our beloved Theotokos intercede before our Christ and Lord for us.

The Vladimir icon of our Most Holy Theotokos was written by St Luke the Evangelist, on wood from a table, which our Christ and Lord sat and ate with His Mother and St Joseph. When our Theotokos saw this icon, she exclaimed, “Henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Let the grace of both My Son and me be with this icon”. This icon was passed over generation to generation, and was passed from Constantinople to Rus in the year 1131.

When we acknowledge our Christ as Lord, we need to also remember that He as our Lord, showed us one of the most powerful spiritual weapons other than repentance and prayer – humility. Our Lord came to us as one of us, and suffered all the human consequences until He was crucified to death, and thereafter, as our Lord, conquered death and emerged to liberate us from death and sin (Philippians 2:5-11). Our Christ showed us that humility was the ultimate spiritual weapon, when the evil one tried to tempt our Lord with food and dominion over the earth (Matthew 4:1-11).

Throughout Scripture, we see references of God and His infinite power over all His creation (Isaiah 45:18-23). As the faithful, we would gladly bend our knees and kneel before our God (Psalms 95:1-6), out of love, not just obedience. May God bless us with humility throughout our spiritual pilgrimage to reconcile with Him, and even against the relentless and lifelong onslaught by the evil one against our good intentions, we will lean on the infinite power of our God, and seek His Mercy to fight the good fight against all evil. In night and day, in good and bad, let us always see the joy of being faithful in our Lord, regardless of our surroundings, experiences, and feelings.

As we reflect upon Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28, let us keep our Most Holy Theotokos close to our prayers daily, and then especially to remember that we are bound by the very same laws given to the Prophets, and even more, as we pray in every Divine Liturgy, the two great commandments of loving God, and loving others as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40).

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

Let us close with a 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.

Blessings
Fr Raphael+

Readings today:
Isaiah 45:18-23
Psalms 95:1-6
Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28
Philippians 2:5-11