“Apostles, who have assembled here from the ends of the earth, bury my body in Gethsemane, and You, my Son and God, receive my spirit!“ (Exapostilarion-Hymn of the Dormition of the Theotokos)

When the time came for the repose of Mary, the Mother of God, the Apostles were called back to Jerusalem from their places of preaching at “the ends of the earth“ and “assembled“ at Her deathbed. So in Her death, the Mother of Life draws into unity those who had been scattered. Just as Her divine Son did in His death, according to His promise: ”and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (Jn 12: 32)

As those of us on the Old(er) Calendar prepare to celebrate the great feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, I’m thinking about this sacrament of unity, manifested so prominently in Her, Full of Grace. Just as She unified heaven and earth in Her womb, so does She continue to unify all of us with Her Son and God, and with one another, by Her motherly nudging of us in the right direction.

Today let me be drawn into the mysteries of this grace-filled feast, which offers me a gift only grace can bestow: unity, - within myself, with God, and with others. “You were translated to life O Mother of Life, and by your prayers you deliver our souls from death.“

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