August 12, 2020
Saint George Greek Orthodox Church
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We have gathered this evening to present to the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary our Paraklesis. Through our petitions, our invocations, and our fervent prayers, we beseech the Most Holy Mother of God to receive our supplications and present them to Her Son and our God.
We are so very blessed to have the Theotokos as our great intercessor, and we know from the Holy Scripture itself that she is there, in the presence of God. The Psalmist declares,
Arise, O Lord, in Your rest, You and the Ark of Your holiness.
Ἀνάστηθι Κύριε εἰς τὴν ἀνάπαυσίν Σου, Σὺ καὶ ἡ κιβωτὸς τοῦ
This is one among the many reasons that she was taken up into the Heavens in her Dormition, for by falling asleep in the Lord, she was liberated from this earthly realm to become our heavenly intercessor. She knows no limit, and is indeed higher than the Angels, as we cry aloud to her:
Τὴν Τιμιωτέραν τῶν Χερουβείμ, καὶ ἐνδοξοτέραν ἀσυγκρίτως τῶν Σεραφείμ….
More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim….
Therefore, my beloved Christians, we have the Theotokos as our own Mother, and we are all brothers and sisters. And as our mothers upon earth care for our pain and worries, so does the Mother of God and even more so.
She watches over our lives when no one else will, even ourselves. She prays for us without ceasing, as we chant in the Kontakion of the Dormition:
Τὴν ἐν πρεσβείαις ἀκοίμητον Θεοτόκον….
The Theotokos is sleepless in her intercessions….
And her love for us knows no bounds, because she is the Moon whose source of radiance is the Sun of Righteousness, our Lord Jesus Christ. And just as we see the moon wax and wane, increase and decrease, our perceptions of her presence in our lives change. But does the moon ever really disappear from the universe? Does it really change into a crescent shape or a half-moon? Surely, this is our perception, but not the reality.
Just so, the Mother of God is always in the Heavens above, a divine Moon reflecting the light of her Son. Let us not allow the seasons and the clouds of life to block her view from our spiritual eyes. Let us rather behold her always within the Church, rising to help us in every way, as the Mother she is. May we always be blessed to have her intercessions and powerful prayers. Amen.
[*] Psalm 131:8 (LXX).