Nativity of the Theotokos (2021) 

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One of the hymns for the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos lyrically proclaims: 

The first fruit of our salvation is accomplished today, O peoples,

for behold, the Mother and Virgin and vessel of God,

foreordained from ancient generations,

comes to be born from a barren woman.

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A flower from Jesse and a rod from his root has budded;

let Adam, our forefather, be glad; let Eve rejoice and delight,

for behold, she who was formed from Adam’s rib 

plainly declares her daughter and descendant blessed:

“My deliverance has been born,” says Eve;

“through her, I shall be freed from the bonds of Hades.”

Let David rejoice, striking his lyre, and let him bless God,

for behold, the Virgin comes forth from a barren rock

for the salvation of our souls!

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The humble young woman from an obscure place in the Mideast becomes in her person the link between Eve and heaven, between fallen humanity and God.  As history scholar Jaroslav Pelikan writes: 

“… because Mary was… ‘of the house and lineage of David,’ she represented the unbreakable link between Jewish and Christian history, between the first covenant within which she was born and the Second Covenant to which she gave birth…”   (MARY THROUGH THE CENTURIES, p 25) 

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It is this woman who links together Paradise before the Fall with all of history since the ancestral sin and beyond to the eschatological Kingdom of Heaven.  Today we celebrate her birth which makes it possible for all humans to be born again.