But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
A homily by Fr. Luke Sidarous on the Vespers of St. Mary’s Feast – August 21, 2019
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God, Amen.
The pure, holy Virgin Saint Mary, grabbed the attention of all humanity for all these centuries. The mysteries of the Virgin remained higher than the Heavens. They took all the symbols of the Old Testament and applied them along with all the names and high titles. But, there is an extremely precious title that we love to call her by which is “Our Mother.” Everyone should say, “The Virgin is my mother.” She is a mother. What’s the difference? The world is full of mothers, the mothers’ compassion and tenderness, and the mother’s care. They have written entire books on this topic, drew paintings, and done so many things. Why this mother in particular? What is so special about her? It was said that the Holy Spirit descended on her, purified her, sanctified her, and filled her with grace. So, she is very special. He sanctified all that is in her. When the Lord Jesus Christ willed to dwell in her, the Holy Spirit descended on her and prepared the body that Christ united with from her. So, all that was in her became holy, heavenly. When I say she is a mother, the sentiments and compassion of motherhood were sanctified by the Holy Spirit and was not merely the natural motherhood that is present in any mother in the world. Rather, it became something entirely different than that which any mother possesses. This did not happen to any other woman in the human race. The Spirit of God descended on her and completely sanctified her. Thus, the sentiment of motherhood within her became a work of the Holy Spirit in and through her. Describe mothers in whatever way you choose. The Virgin will always remain unique.
What motherhood is this? She became a mother to the Son of God, the Incarnate Logos. What did she used to call Him? In the second chapter of the Gospel according to St. Luke, when the Lord Jesus Christ was visiting Jerusalem during the Passover and they left to look for Him amongst the children, but could not find Him. He agreed to be this way, a small Child, staying amongst the children. What separates Him from the rest? Nothing. This is His will. He emptied Himself and took the form a slave. It was His plan. They returned to Jerusalem, a day’s walk, and were looking for Him for three days. So, He was away from them for five days. When the Holy Virgin found Him, she said, “My son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously” (Luke 2:48). Son, why did you do this to us? This is why I am telling you, who is she a mother to? A mother to the Incarnate God. When the word “Incarnation” and the dogma around incarnation come up, which is the cornerstone of the Christian faith, we say of the Holy Spirt and the holy Virgin, Saint Mary. We pray in the Divine Liturgy and say, “This is the life-giving Flesh that Your only-begotten Son, our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, took from our Lady, the Lady of us all, the holy Theotokos, Saint Mary. He made It one with His divinity.” So, every time the word Incarnation comes up, then we must also mention the Virgin. When Christ was incarnate, and she is His mother having all the sentiments of motherhood, she was sanctified by the Holy Spirit and her motherhood became something indescribable. Tenderness? One that was beyond this world. Not the natural tenderness of a mother. Then, what? It is something that surpasses any other.