The Archangel was sent from Heaven to cry 'Rejoice!' to the Theotokos. And beholding You, O Lord, taking bodily form, he stood in awe, and with his bodiless voice he cried aloud to her such things as these: Rejoice, you through whom joy shall shine forth…” (Akathist to the Theotokos, Ikos 1)

Joy indeed. So much joy shines forth on this Saturday, as we rejoice in the beauty of the Most-Holy Mother of God. And all this one week before Her Son enters Jerusalem, to begin His final journey of suffering and death, through which She accompanies Him, as a sword pierces Her soul (Lk 2: 35). It is not an earthly “happiness” we are celebrating today, as we sing about “joy,” but rather the light and lightness of the Cross.

Today I rejoice, in gratitude, in the light and strength of Her motherly love, which never abandons Her Child or children on the cross-carrying journey. So I ask Her to help me once again today, and carry me further on my journey, in Her protection and care. “Rejoice,” I say to Her today, “for You carry the One Who carries all.”

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