In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why (πόθεν, from where) is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?...” (Lk 1: 39-43) The Mother of God is not one who self-isolates and stays home, when it’s time to “suit up and show up.” Just as Her Son is One Who comes, “and comes again” (καὶ πάλιν ἐρχόμενος, и паки грядущий), to us, throughout our history, so does She come “with haste” and with Him, as She did to Elizabeth, and as She did on the day we celebrate today (according to the Older Calendar), on the great feast of Her “Protection” (Pokrov). As we sing in the Troparion-hymn of today: “Today the faithful celebrate the feast with joy / illumined by your coming, O Mother of God…” Today as we celebrate one of Her most famous appearances or “comings” to faithful people throughout history, I thank Her for coming, and staying, always in Her grace-filled presence throughout my messy life. “And why is this granted me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?” I don’t know. It’s just Her way, and apparently always has been. “The true Theotokos, we magnify You!”
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