August 18, 2013
Post-Feast Day Choices
In the service of the great feast of the Repose of the Theotokos and in the service of the Small Supplication to the All-Holy Virgin, which is chanted during the first fifteen days of August, we hear the gospel reading which describes Mary meeting Elizabeth. When Mary entered Elizabeth’s house and greeted her, the child that Elizabeth was carrying “leaped in her womb”. The child (which was St. John the Forerunner) recognized that the Virgin was bearing Christ, who is the Life and Savior of the world, and he “leaped” out of joy.
Hearing about this meeting, a question must be posed: How much have we internally cultivated the ability to realize Christ’s presence in our lives, the image of God that is deeply embedded in our hearts, and to rejoice in this? Furthermore, how much can we recognize the opportunities which life affords us, through Divine Grace, so that we live creatively, cultivating loving relationships that enrich us and offer us future hope?
On the contrary, perhaps we prefer to ignore these opportunities/blessings in order to avoid the responsibility that they may include. Perhaps we choose not to utilize these opportunities and to live within loving relationships because we fear the pain that we may suffer from a possible disappointment, a failure, or even an inevitable parting. Perhaps we prefer to remain in the Hades of our self-pity, our sorrow and our disappointments rather than move on to the true life where the light of the Resurrection prevails. There, one is engulfed in eros (passionate love) for God and the people around him/her, in a life that is never ending.