The Synaxis of the Theotokos (2010)

In the Orthodox Church it often happens that on the day after a significant feast, there is a secondary feast honoring some of the main saints of the feast.  Thus the day after Theophany (January 6) is the Synaxis of St. John the Baptist (Jan 7), the day after the Meeting of the Lord (February 2) is the Feast of Sts. Simeon and Anna (Feb 3), and the day after Christmas (December 25) is the Synaxis of the Theotokos (Dec 26).   I remember hearing many years ago that the Synaxis of the Theotokos may in fact be the oldest Marian Feast on the Christian calendar.

As we honor the Mother of God on the day after the Nativity, here is a meditation for us to consider how we might imitate she who is the model of a believer: 

“Look at the man who likes to have his own way. His soul is never at peace.  He is always discontented – this is not right, that is not as it should be.  But the man who is entirely given over to the will of God can pray with a pure mind.  His soul loves the Lord, and he finds everything pleasant and agreeable. 

Thus did the Most Holy Virgin submit herself to God: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to Thy word.’  And were we to say likewise —  ‘Behold the servant of the Lord; be it unto me according to Thy word’ – then the Lord’s words written in the Gospels by the Holy Spirit would live in our souls, and the whole world would be filled with the love of God, and how beautiful would life be on earth.  And although God’s words have been heard the length and breadth of the universe for so many centuries, people do not understand and will not accept them.  But the man who lives according to God’s will will be glorified in heaven and on earth.”   (St. Silouan the Athonite, pp 338-339).