“Today is the foreshadowing of the good pleasure of God, and the herald of the salvation of men. The Virgin is revealed in the temple of God, and beforehand she announces Christ to all. Let us therefore cry to her with might voice: Rejoice Thou fulfillment of the Creator’s dispensation”—we sing in the troparion of the Feast of the The Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple
“>Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple.
When three years had passed since her birth, the Mother of God, the Maiden, was brought as yet a little girl into the temple of the Lord according to her parents’ promise, and given to service, prayer, and the study of the Law of the Lord. This wondrous event is what we celebrate today.
The Mother of God was given at such an early age to God’s service and was made worthy of such grace, that many of us have not yet been worthy of. Many have only in their adulthood reached the altar of God, and entered the Holy of Holies.1
This purity, this sincere faith, and her parents’ simplicity and dedication to God is a great example to us; a reproach and lesson to us, because we are all without exception meant to be divine vessels.
I would mainly like to address parents today.
“>children, just like the Mother of God, are very pure and precious vessels, not yet sullied, not poisoned with the vices of this world. But the world is preparing a terrible lot for them—it is doing everything it can to defile them and make them vessels of sin. We see how sin is only multiplying around us, and the most vulnerable to all of this are our children.
Even unbelieving and unreligious people talk about this: psychologists, doctors, pediatric workers, and teachers. All note what an aggressive, frightening, and satanic atmosphere surrounds our children. Many parents are continually perplexed; they don’t know what to do or how to deal with this. But they are visited by this despair primarily because they forget that the temple of God is the greatest and most salvific hospital and the best school for our children.
St. John of Kronstadt once said on the day of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple: “The most remarkable school to which we can send our children is the school of Jesus Christ.”
Today all of us, students of the elementary level of this school, have gathered in church and brought our children. Children are God’s blessing, just as the Mother of God was the fruit of prayer and ascetic labors and became the source of salvation for all of mankind, so also our own children are God’s blessing for all of us. Often the very fact of their appearance on earth serve for the salvation of their own sinful and unreasoning parents.
Even if we have no children in the flesh, we have children in spirit; and even ordinary laypeople have the opportunity to help the children of their family and friends to come to God. This enormous responsibility lies upon all of us—along with the great grace.
In remembering this great event, let us strive to do all within our power so that our children might emulate the Mother of God by their Humility is the Foundation and Essence of Christianity. The Mother of God Greatly Loves the HumbleAnd because the Most Pure Mother of God is our first Intercessor and Deliverer from all our misfortunes, it is clear that all our prayers to her to save us from all our afflictions, and that we might receive every temporal blessing, should have humility behind them. She turns directly away from the proud and greatly loves the humble, as Church tradition testifies; or more precisely, the lives of holy people testify.
“>humility and reverence.
Of course, our children cannot bear such a great service as that of the Mother of God, but they can “herald the salvation of men”. This gift of God, whom the Lord has given to us, can become a vessel of the preaching of salvation to people, just as any Christian should be.
This is to what our little children, and you and me, are called. And May the Mother of God pray for us on this day before the throne of Her Son.