Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
“The dogma of the Annunciation is not the revelation of a solitary and autocratic God; nor is the Annunciation a story of human subservience to that God. Mary is called to an act of kenosis (self-emptying, suffering love), imitative of her own Son’s, even before he himself has revealed it to the world. For by conceiving the holy child, she risks humiliation and social ostracism. But whatever the Father asks of the mother, he asks also of his Son, who “emptied Himself… taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:5-11, NKJV).
This passage from Paul’s letter to the Philippians is a reading for the feast of the Birth of the Mother of God. St. Paul argues that the kenosis of the Son of God lights the way toward a religious affirmation of human freedom and holiness. The true end of human freedom is voluntary self-limitation in loving service to others and to God. God holds to this law of love when he condescends to become one of us. Mary is the first human being to obey this command wholly and consummately.” (Vigen Guroian, The Melody of Faith: Theology in an Orthodox Key, Kindle Loc. 702ff)