On the Dormition of the Theotokos, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae of the Americas turned his thoughts to every mother in the world, pointing to the Virgin Mary as an example of a life-giver and intercessor for children.
Metropolitan Nicolae’s message for the Dormition of the Theotokos: full text
The Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is the crown of all the feasts dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary. This is not only because it is her last feast in the Ecclesiastical Year but also because it reveals the fulfilment of the mission of the Mother of God.
This is strongly suggested in the troparion of the Feast:
“In birth, you preserved your virginity; in death, you did not abandon the world, O Theotokos. As mother of life, you departed to the source of life, delivering our souls from death by your intercessions.”
God chose the Holy Virgin to fulfil His plan for the salvation of humankind.
Saint Nicholas Cabasilas expresses this reality in very meaningful words, “But those things which drew the Artificer Himself to earth and moved His creative hand did she provide from within herself, being the author thereof. (…) Having trained both body and soul to receive such beauty, she turned the gaze of God towards herself, and by her own beauty rendered our common nature beautiful and won over the Impassible One; and He who was despised by men on account of their sin became man because of the Virgin.”
We understand how the Virgin gave birth to the Giver of Life, becoming the Mother of Life. And we also understand how, by giving birth in purity to the Saviour of the world, Saint Mary became the Mother of all those who believe in Him.
In this way, the Mother of God fell asleep but did not forsake the world, for in her quality as Mother she is with us, and she hears our prayers and lifts them up to the throne of the Heavenly King.
Like the Mother of God, every mother brings children into the world, not only for this world but for the eternal Kingdom.
Thus, our mothers have the sacred mission of giving us physical life, but also spiritual life by bringing us to Holy Baptism. And Baptism is followed by Christian education so that every child may receive the faith and grow up under the care of the Church, the Mother of the children of God and the Bride of Christ.
The Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos reminds us of the value of this life, but also of eternal life.
We work out our salvation in this life, and our present deeds gain eternal value for our descendants and us.
Therefore, my exhortation at this glorious feast is addressed to our mothers: let us take care of our children and give them life, but also faith. Let us be like the Mother of God in this offering of life, and let us also lift up our prayers to the Lord for our children.
Thus, we will fulfil our mission as parents on this earth and rejoice together with all mothers and the Theotokos at our own passing from this life to the perfect life in heaven.
Let us ask the Mother of God to guide us all and make us worthy to be called her children and the heavenly Father!
† Metropolitan Nicolae
Photo: Basilica.ro Files
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