Thursday, April 20, 2017

Let us Celebrate and Dance

The fulfillment of the law is Christ himself.  He changed whatever was burdensome, servile and oppressive into what is light and liberating, so that we should be enslaved no longer under the elemental spirits of the world, as the Apostle says, not held fast as bond-servants under the letter of the law. This is the revelation of the mystery, this is the emptying out of the divine nature, the union of God and man, and the deification of the manhood that was assumed.
             This radiant and manifest coming of God to men most certainly needed a joyful prelude to introduce the great gift of salvation to us.  The present festival, the birth of the Mother of God, is the prelude, while the final act is the foreordained union of the Word with flesh.  Today the Virgin is born, tended and formed, and prepared for her role as Mother of God, who is the universal King of the ages.
            Justly then do we celebrate this mystery since it signifies for us a double grace.  We are led toward the truth, and we are led away from our condition of slavery to the letter of the law.  How can this be?  Darkness yields before the coming of light, and grace exchanges legalism for freedom.  But midway between the two stands today's mystery, at the frontier where types and symbols give way to reality, and the old is replaced by the new.
            Therefore, let all creation sing and dance and untie to make worthy contribution to the celebration of this day.  Let there be one common festival for saints in heaven and men on earth.  Let everything, mundane things and those above, join in festive celebration.  Today this created world is raised to the dignity of a holy place for him who made all things.  The creature is newly prepared to be a divine dwelling place for the Creator.      (from a discourse by Saint Andres of Crete, bishop)
            The feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is on September 8th.  Let us once again remember she is not, and was not God.  She is human like we are, though unlike us she is sinless.  What she did was to say yes to the call of God.  She gave up her wishes for the future and accepted His will.  Can we too be obedient?  Can we answer God's call and give of ourselves, our time, our talent, our treasure, our very being to Jesus who gave all he had to become one with man?  And can we answer the call like Mary, truly one of us, who prays for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.     kvs

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