Thy Nativity, O Theotokos Virgin, Has brought joy to all the inhabited earth: For from Thee has sprung forth the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God.
We solemnly celebrate, dear brothers and sisters, the Nativity of the Most Holy Virgin Mary from her barren parents, pious Joachim and Anna. The Holy Church established this feast during the first centuries of the Christian Faith. The event that we celebrate—the birth of the God-Chosen maiden—brought joy to all the world, for the God-man, Jesus Christ, Who shone forth from Her, destroyed God’s curse which weighed heavily upon the transgressing and accursed human race, and brought God’s blessing upon it; having trampled down inherent death, He gave people eternal life. Thus the Holy Church explains the cause of the present joy.
Every time we celebrate the Dormition of the Mother of God, it’s as if we’re having Easter – the Easter of the summer. Our Lady the Mother of God prepares Easter for us. A glorious crossing “from death to life”. A second Easter, holy spotless, life-giving for the human race, because today “the laws of nature are overcome.”
“How the source of life goes towards life, passing through death”, says Saint John the Damascane. The death of the life-giving Mother of the Lord transcends the concept of death, so that it’s not even called death, but “dormition” and “divine transition” and an emigration and immigration towards the Lord. And even if it’s called death, it’s a life-bringing death, since it transports to a celestial and immortal life.
This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him (Matt. 17:5).
Knowing that man always weakens in spirit during times of suffering, our Savior desired before His voluntary Passion to encourage His disciples by convincing them through this mysterious wonder that He is the true Messiah, promised by the prophets.
If this general of the Church – Saint Paul – was among us today, again his tears would run endlessly from his eyes. Tears: -for those who abuse and blaspheme the Cross of Christ, -for those who are ashamed to make the sign of the Cross and not love the life of the Cross, -for those who do not walk according to the citizenship of the Cross, -for those who with their temporary power test the patience of the people, and oppress and tyrannize the human person, being scornful and disrespectful towards the unrepeatable divine image in man, -for those who like Judas betray Christ, -for all sorts of heretics who like wolves do not spare the flock and speak perverse things in order to draw away disciples after them (Acts 20:30), -for those who create schisms and divisions, putting the spotlight on themselves and supposedly work to present themselves as saviors instead of the true Savior Christ.
His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Kastoria (part of Sermon)
On this day, the first missionaries were ordained by the Holy Spirit—the apostles, from whom we, your priests, have received the grace of ordination in succession. On this day the saving Sacraments, celebrated to this day in the Church through your priests, became efficacious. The apostles and other believers were given the gift of word and wisdom for preaching the Gospel to all people, and the abundant gift of miracles by which they, then and thereafter, attracted many human souls to faith in Christ and saved them.
The Holy Spirit was abundantly poured out upon the apostles, but other members of the Orthodox Church are given the Holy Spirit through repentance, Baptism, and the other Sacraments. The event of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles is very important for the Orthodox Church. This day is the day of the true foundation of the Orthodox Church, or the Christian society of those saved in Christ.
Through these two brothers – Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, Christ, our God, has given us great mercy.
After His glorious resurrection, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ appeared to His disciples to strengthen their faith. And He said to them: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. (Matt. 28:19-20)