“Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of grace! / From you shone the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God. / Enlightening those who sit in darkness! / Rejoice, and be glad, O righteous elder; / You accepted in your arms the Liberator of our souls (τὸν ἐλευθερωτὴν τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν), / Who grants us the Resurrection.” (Troparion-hymn of the Meeting of the Lord)
Today, as those of us on the Older Calendar celebrate the great feast of the Meeting of the Lord, when He was brought into the temple on the 40th day after His birth, I’m wondering what this means, that Christ is “the liberator of our souls.” It means that my previous bondage is no more, when I “accept in my arms,” as did the “righteous elder” St. Symeon, the One sent to us by our Father in heaven. In His incarnation, Christ steps into our shoes, as One of us, and as such, offers me a new Way of being and doing, – as one of His. I am hence invited to being and doing in communion with His kind of humanity, imbued with the grace of His divinity, whenever I choose to participate in it.
So let me let Christ liberate my soul today, from going around in the dark circles of my own rationalizations. I can break out of the circles, by crying out to Him in some heartfelt prayer this morning. His grace lifts me up, onto the promising Way of the Cross, which leads toward the new life and new meaning of Resurrection. Let me not remain stuck in the rut of meaninglessness today, which is life in my own head, and join the liberating flow of God’s creative energies. His grace pours out abundantly on all of us in the feast at hand, so let me me be part of it, and not sit in darkness, by the prayers of the Theotokos. Amen!