Homily Outline – Sunday after the Nativity of the Theotokos

Yesterday we celebrated a birthday!

1. Miracle. Joachim and Anna.  We forget how great a miracle all conceptions and births are.

2. Her life (segue – her age!) We rejoice with the angels at the life of Mary. Chaste. Pure. Devoted. 

3. Through her salvation has come into the world. Miracle. Chastity. Life given to Christ.


She is the model of the Christian; the archtype of the one who has accepted Christ. Through her chastity, through her prayer, through her complete submission to God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, salvation has come into the world.

No confusion here: salvation is only in Christ, but He manifested Himself to this world through her. He came from her and changed the world. He is the Savior, but she is the one who gave him birth. He chose to work through her, this chaste and devout young woman.

So it is today. Salvation is only through Christ. We have accepted Him without reservation. We, too, have dedicated ourselves to complete chastity and devotion. And the Lord will work through us. Christ will manifest Himself to this suffering world and heal his people.

This is the glory of the Gospel. This is why all the angels in heaven sing praises of our Lady, why celebrating her birthday is one of our great feast and so important in the life of Orthodox Christians. This is why your birthday is so important, why your life is celebrated by the angels in heaven: because it is no longer you who live, but Christ who lives in you; and through you – the ecclesia, he will heal this broken world and all its suffering people.  

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