“So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and prosper in the thing for which I sent it…”
Dearly beloved in the Lord:
The Feast of the Annunciation, March 25th, our Parish feastday, is a celebration of the divine power of the Word of God. This Word was spoken in obedience by the Archangel Gabriel. This Word was received in faith by the Virgin Mary. This Word was sent down from heaven like rain to bring the Living Water to all people. This Word descended “as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout” (Is. 55:10). This Word was mystically sown as Seed in the untilled field of the virgin womb, this Word was incarnated as the Bread of Life from Heaven giving life to the world, this Word of the Father from before all eternity “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
The message brought forth by the Archangel Gabriel was the Word of Life Itself, coming forth from the Father by the operation of the Holy Spirit. He came to accomplish His changeless and unfailing purpose – the salvation of mankind!
On the Feast of the Annunciation we celebrate not only the acceptance of the Word of Life by the holy Theotokos; we magnify also the grace of God by which we too accept the Word for our salvation. St. Paul the Apostle wrote: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17). In this manner we become imitators of the blessed Mother of God; we receive the promise of Christ in us, the hope of glory; we come to know the joy of having Jesus Christ formed in us (Gal. 4:19) and living in us (Gal. 2:20).
The Word of life is also the Word of deliverance from the bondage of sin and death. St. Gregory the Wonderworker wrote regarding this Feast: “Again we have the glad tidings of joy, again the announcement of liberty, again the restoration, again the return, again the promise of gladness, again the release from slavery.”
With such words of joy and thanksgiving let us rightly honor the Feast of the Annunciation with our prayerful participation in the Divine Services.
We will be blessed to have His Grace Bishop Anthimos of Olympus preside over our feastday services this year:
Great Vespers will be on Saturday, March 24th, at 5:00 p.m. A Lenten Potluck Supper will be held in the Parish Fellowship Hall following the vesper service.
Hierarchical Divine Services on Sunday, March 25th, will be at 9:00 a.m. A luncheon for our feastday will be held and a brief program will be offered by our Afternoon Greek School to celebrate the day.
May God grant you all every blessing.
In Christ’s love,
Rev. Protopresbyter Jon Magoulias