Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,
the first feast of the new ecclesiastical year is dedicated to Lord’s Mother, that is the most spiritual human person, called in the today’s service from Menaion: the beginning of our salvation.
And our Lady is the saint beginning of the salvation of the world, because of her was born the Savior Jesus Christ.
The today’s service combined the veterotestamentary prophecies with the datas of the Church Tradition about the Virgin’s birth.
Therefore, our Lady is the unburnt bush, Jacob‘s ladder, the undamaged door of Ezekiel, according to the Prophets, but born of Joachim and Anna at old age, after Saint Anna was barren.
And her birth was wonderful precisely because it occurred beyond the normal birth, through prayer and the angelic proclamation.
A birth in purity, miraculously, for that Most Pure Virgin would give birth, beyond nature, to the incarnate Son of God.
And always the liturgical theology of the Church sees Mother with her Son. And she is a servant of God’s dispensation to the world.
Because her life was a continual obedience to God. And because, he was obedient to the Master, therefore „gladness was announced to all world”, as said the troparion of the day.
But the gladness announced by her is an ontological one because it deified our nature. It’s the gladness of conversion from death to eternal life because the orthodox life is just life with God.
We begin the ecclesiastical year and we start it through to bless the lives. We bless the life and the cosmos around us. For the whole humanity and the cosmos are called, in Christ, to become new creations, and namely restored and filled with His grace.
And only where life is blessed, expect good children. And where the marriage is a holy, divine. Because children need an environment where spiritual grow and develop as real people.
And when the Church confesses the Mother of God as Mother and Virgin also shows that both motherhood and virginity are accomplishments of women. And that the birth of sons does not exclude the purity and the holy life but, rather, implies it.
The spiritual songs of the day called the Church and all humanity to happiness. At the virginal happiness. At the happiness which enriches our inner with grace.
Because we are asked at the explosion of the holy happiness that is behind the purity and the appeasement of the self. The Mother of God calls us from her icons at the joyful silence.
Therefore, all those who have patronymic birthday today (including my wife, that fulfills today, September 8, 2011, 34 years) I wish you joy and peace, now and forever. Amen!