April 7, 2020

 “Rejoice, O un-wedded (without-a-bridegoom) Bride! / Χαίρε, Νύμφη Α-νύμφευτε. / Радуйся, Невесто не-невестная.” (Refrain, Akathist-Hymn of the Theotokos)

     In this Akathist-Hymn, we praise the Theotokos not only for who/what she “is“ and “has,“ but also for what she is “not,“ i.e.,“wedded,“ and what she does “not“ have, which is a spouse or bridegroom. Hence we praise her as “Α-νύμφευτε,” or one “without a bridegroom” (without a “νυμφίος“).

     Is this cause for celebration, the fact that the Most-Holy Theotokos had “no bridegroom,” in the usual sense, in her specific vocation, of bringing our Lord into the world? Yes, apparently so, as this particular fact is praised repeatedly, in the refrain of the Akathist-Hymn. Because it was hard to be alone, as the only (human) parent...

April 6, 2020

 “Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it he said, ‘This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, ‘Let us go into Judea again.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?’” (Jn 11: 1-8)

     On this final, sixth week of Lent,...

April 1, 2020

 “Who has wrought and done these things? He has called her (αὐτὴν) who called her (αὐτὴν) from the beginning of generations; I God, the first and to all futurity, I am (ἐγώ εἰμι). The nations saw, and feared; the ends of the earth drew near, and came together, each one judging for his neighbor and that to assist his brother: and one will say, The artificer has become strong, and the coppersmith that smites with the hammer, and forges also: sometimes he will say, It is a piece well joined: they have fastened them with nails; they will fix them, and they shall not be moved. But you, Israel, are my servant Jacob, and he whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraam, whom I have loved: whom I have taken hold of from the ends of the earth, and from the high places of it I have called you, and said to...

March 30, 2020

 “The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, ‘Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see I will give to you and to your descendants for ever. I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your descendants also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.’ So Abram moved his tent, and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron; and there he built an altar to the Lord.” (Gen 13: 14-18)

     This is our Church’s reading from Genesis at Vespers today, on Monday of the fifth week of Lent, in 2020. That fact alone is mind-blowing, indicating to me that the re...

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