Our hearts are thrilled as we hear today the Angels’ message to the pious protector of the Virgin, Joseph. For Mary “will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The name Jesus (the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua), means Savior, and we will see this joyous declaration become a reality on the holy Night of Christmas, when the Angel will again announce to the shepherds of Bethlehem: “there is born to you … a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Significantly, the primary name of the Son of God as God-man will be Savior, and this is because He is the one and only Savior of humanity. St. Peter also made such a declaration in front of the members of the Jewish Council: Only in Jesus is there salvation, “for there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved” (see Acts 4:12).

As we noted in our previous Homily, the Son of God is called the Word of God. He is the second person of the Holy Trinity, the Only-begotten Son of God, who became incarnate for humanity; the God-man Jesus Christ.

Sermon. Part 1.

In the prayers and hymns of the Divine Liturgy, as well as in other holy Services, the second person of the Holy Trinity, The Son of God, is called “Logos”; like in the hymns “Only begotten Son and Word (Logos) of God, being immortal…”, or “… you, who are more glorious than the Seraphim, who undefiled gave birth to God the Word (Logos)…”

At the beginning of the Nativity Fast (the Forty-day period before Christmas), our Church celebrates the Entrance of the Theotokos to the Temple. The three-year old Mary is led into the Temple of Jerusalem, and will be honored as the living temple where the Son of God dwells. As the hymn of the Feast Day wonderfully proclaims: Today the living Temple of the holy glory of Christ our God, the pure Maiden who alone is blessed among women, is offered in the Temple of the Law, that she may make her dwelling in the Holy Place” (2nd Sticheron of the Feast Day at the Vespers service).

We often see on the walls inside Orthodox churches the iconography depicting the heavenly Liturgy of the Angels, that also includes elements of the Divine Liturgy which we humans celebrate in our holy churches. As we talked about in our previous Homily, the Angels and humanity are united in worshipping the Lord of Heaven and Earth. Just as the holy Angels endlessly praise and offer glory to the Triune God around the Throne of the Almighty, we also gather before the earthly Throne of God (the Holy Table or Altar). We offer the established Prayers (along with our supplications), and when celebrating the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (as in other holy Services as well), we are chanting thanksgiving and glorification hymns to the Triune God.

Programm

Schedule of services on May 2021

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