Monday, December 4 (November 21), 2023
Entry of Mary into the Temple
1Tim. 5:1-10; Lk. 17:20─25
The service of the Entry of the Most Holy Lady and Ever-Virgin Mary into the Temple is marked by chanting for the first time in the course of the liturgical year “Christ is born ─ glorify Him!...”, thus starting the necessrary preparation for Feast of Christmas ─ the Nativity of Christ. Please understand it, and follow up on your understanding.
Ponder on the great mystery of the Incarnation of the Only-Begotten Son of God, contemplate His beginning in the pre-eternal God’s council regarding the creation of the world and creation of man in the world; find His reflection in the first-created man, rejoice on the first good news of His coming, uttered right after the fall in Paradise; follow this news with your mind through the Old Testament prophecies and prototypes; learn how the Lord was working among the ancient Hebrews, instructing them to be ready for the advent of God Incarnate, and who actually heeded to His instruction; ─ or, if you wish, step beyond the confines of the God-chosen people and gather there the rays of God’s light which shone in darkness, ─ and conjure up how the elect from all nations achieved that awareness of the miraculous manifestation of God’s Providence for the mankind.
So much for your mental readiness. But there is also Advent Lent going on (for forty days before Christmas); make sure to attend Church services, confess your sins, receive the sacrament of Absolution and partake of the Holy Communion: that will contribute to your active, practical readiness. Pray that the Lord, as the result, will let you experience the power of His coming in the flesh; ─ then, when the Feast of Nativity comes, you will rejoice with deep joy of your own heart, rather than with some shallow substitute for joy.