Homily 401 – Annunciation
Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church, Ames, Iowa
March 24, 2020
Epistle: (306) – Hebrews 2:11-18
Gospel: (3) – Luke 1:24-38

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God.

Today we are inextricably linked to the Nativity of our Lord – Christmas.

Today, 9 months from Christmas, the incarnation of our Lord takes place. And, this year, it seems most appropriate that the remembrance of the feast takes place in the midst of the Great Fast, during the week of the Cross.

The hymnography this evening is from both – the Cross and the Annunciation.

This is the sum total of the ministry of Christ on earth – to be God incarnate and to reconcile humanity to God by destroying death by His death.

The final stichera for the Annunciation really expresses the miracle. In Gabriel’s voice, it says: “When God so wills, the order of nature is overcome, and what is beyond man comes to pass.”

And the response that Mary offers to the Archangel is instructive, particularly during this time.

“Let it be to me according to your word.”

That is what this time teaches us. Acceptance of our circumstance. Knowing that all things, including the painful things, are for our salvation.

Sometimes we talk about the things around us being “God’s will.” Especially the tragic and painful things.

And we do know that these things enter the world because of the fall of humanity – our fall from acceptance of God’s directives.

One question is how can evil be God’s will? And the answer is that while God doesn’t desire the evil in the world, and certainly didn’t cause it – for every evil is a perversion of a virtue – but while God doesn’t desire it He can, if we allow it, use the evil for our salvation.

And our salvation is definitely His will and desire for us.

So, if we accept everything that happens to us, and allow it to remind us of God’s presence, His incarnation, which is His Love.

So – if we accept that God loves us and that God wants to use everything, be it painful or tragic or joyful, for our salvation – then we also must become like the Theotokos, and not only accept our circumstance, but be truly thankful for it.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God. Glory to Jesus Christ!