On March 25, the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Annunciation by Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she should become the mother of Jesus Christ the Son of God, as today is exactly nine months before Christmas!
It is the day Archangel Gabriel announced the Incarnation of Christ, saying to the Theotokos, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. (Luke 1:31) Today we commemorate a sacred event when the love and will of God was made known to humankind.
This holy Feast is a sacred event when the love and will of God was made known to humankind.
We sing the exclamation of the Virgin Mary, My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour! (Luke 1:46-47). We offer thanksgiving and praise to God for His marvellous works and His glorious revelation. Through the message of the Gospel, we affirm that joy greeted the Incarnation of our Lord; joy filled the hearts of the multitudes who received Him in faith and those who found hope; and joy compelled many to go forth to the ends of the world and pro-claim the blessed and eternal life that comes through Christ and the Gospel.
Annunciation of the Theotokos
The Lord wishes to come to our hearts through the Holy Spirit. And for this miracle to happen, He always expects us to respond just like the Virgin Mary did, in practice, in our everyday life. He expects us not only to say but also experience this for a whole lifetime: “Behold the servant of the Lord; be it unto me according to your word.” More or less, every man will find himself, as the Virgin Mary did, at a crucial moment, when he will have to decide whether to say “yes” or “no” to God.
This is the story of our whole life: one way or another, God’s grace hovers around us, trying to convince us to say “yes”. And if we say “yes”, the Logos becomes flesh. Christ indeed comes into us, indeed is carried in us, indeed takes us up-on Himself, and this is how we become of Christ and grow in the Lord.
~ Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos (†)