Saturday, March 25, 2017

Without today there is no Tomorrow

Today the Church commemorates the Feast of the Annunciation, the day the Church remembers when Archangel Gabriel told the Panagia (All Holy) Virgin Mary she would give birth to God. In Greek the day is known as Ευαγγελισμος which translates as “Good News”. Thus the coming of God in the Flesh is Good News for tomorrow.

Although there is no direct connection to the Feast today and the Great Fast in terms of timing for the Feast, for me it is a pleasant coincidence that half-way through the period dedicated to preparing for Christ’s Passion, we are reminded of His coming in the Flesh. After all, if He had not come in the flesh in the first place, there would be no Passion. If there had been no Passion, there would be no Great Lent, and without Great Lent, today would just be another day for us to awake, go to work, and worry about tomorrow.

Thankfully God did come in the flesh. Thankfully He did hang on the Cross and die for our salvation. Thankfully He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. Thankfully we are preparing during the Great Fast so we could share the same Good News with others. So enjoy today and remember tomorrow is another opportunity to prepare for God.

Here are today’s reading:
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 2:11-18 (RSV) - BRETHREN, he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, "I will proclaim thy name to my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee." And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Here am I, and the children God has given me. Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.
 Gospel Reading: Luke 1:24-38 (RSV) - In those days, Elizabeth the wife of Zacharias conceived and for five months she hid herself, saying, "Thus the Lord had done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men." In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you! But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.      

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