Forefeast of the Annunciation
The Annunciation of the Theotokos
On the twenty-fifth day of this month we celebrate the Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
The Angel announced to the Virgin the Great Son of the Father’s great Counsel. The Angel said, “Rejoice”, to Mary on the twenty-fifth.
God, Who is merciful and loves mankind, is ever solicitous about the race of men. When, as a loving Father, He saw the work of His hands enslaved to the Devil and under his tyranny, subject to the passions and to idolatry, He resolved to send His Only-Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver mankind from the clutches of the Devil. He entrusted the Mystery to one of the Archangels, the glorious Gabriel, and in His Economy He brought it about that the Holy Virgin was purified by the Holy Spirit, for she was worthy of such a favor. When the Angel came to the city of Nazareth, he said to her: “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.” She asked: “How shall this be?” He replied: “The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee.” And she said: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” At the same time as she and the Archangel spoke, she conceived preternaturally in her immaculate womb the Son and Word of God, His enhypostatic Wisdom and Power, by the overshadowing of God and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Thereafter, the Mysteries of God the Word were accomplished by His Economy, for our salvation and redemption. By her holy intercessions, O God, have mercy on us and save us, for Thou art good and lovest mankind. Amen.
Adapted from Mystagogy, the Weblog of John Sandinopoulos