Link for the meditation below: http://saintstevens.org/Orthodox%20Faith/May%20Meditation,%20Mother%20of%20All.html
THE THEOTOKOS – THE MOTHER OF ALL
V. Rev. John Constantine
As the month of May comes around, the thoughts of many of us drift to a special day – the second Sunday of the month in which we honor very special women in our lives – our mothers. An old Jewish proverb states: “God couldn’t be everywhere so He created mothers.” It is our mothers who not only bore us and nourished us, embraced us with love, set our feet on the path of the knowledge of God, who nursed our illnesses and hurts, who encourage us to be all we can be, whose unceasing prayers bless our comings and goings, and whose soft counsel and deep faith assure us that all will be well. This past Holy Week and Pascha my mind was constantly turning to another mother whose maternal love significantly affected our incomprehensible salvation – our most Holy, Blessed and Glorious Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
From the hymnology of the Church during the services of Holy Week we entered into her maternal anguish as her Son entered into His Passion, Crucifixion and Entombment. The joy of the First Annunciation when the Archangel Gabriel was sent to the city of Nazareth to declare that she had found favor with God and that she was to bear the Son of the Most High is all but forgotten as she beholds her Son crucified on the Cross. The maternal heart groans as her only Son commends her to the care of the Beloved Disciple, John. We can only but imagine her grief as she holds the lifeless body of her Son as He is taken down from the Cross and hastily buried. Any loving mother who has buried a child understands the magnitude of her maternal grief at the foot of the Holy Cross. The prophecy of Symeon at the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple has become reality, “a sword will pierce through your own soul also.”
It is not impossible to imagine that the same Archangel was not commanded to proclaim the Second Annunciation to the Holy Virgin in Jerusalem: “ The Angel cried aloud to the Lady full of grace: Rejoice, O pure Virgin; and again I say Rejoice, Your Son has resurrected from the grave on the third day.”
As the Virgin Mary’s life is intertwined with that of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, so is she intertwined in the life of every Orthodox Christian. As we become children of God by adoption, so she becomes our mother through that same adoption. All we need to do is look at all aspects of our veneration of the Holy Virgin: icons, candles, Commemorative Liturgies, services of Paraklesis, countless intercessory prayers and prayers “that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” (Luke 2:35)
In honoring our earthly mothers on Mother’s Day, let us also honor the Virgin Mary, the model of motherhood. This honor should not be confined to one day, but continuously: “Her children shall rise up and call her blessed.” May the mother of us all, the Theotokos, always entreat her Son and our Lord for our care and protection! (end of Fr. John’s article)
Theotokos of Jerusalem
Icon courtesy of Uncut Mountain Supply
Thank you, Lord, for our earthly mothers, those who bore us and those who nurtured us;
Thank you most of all for giving us your all-holy, immaculate and most-blessed mother
the Theotokos, who keeps us in her heart and in her prayers,
the perfect mother whose pure love is boundless and all-encompassing.
Blessed Mother’s Day! Pres. Candace
Learn more about the Theotokos here: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Theotokos