Table of Contents
Contemplations on the Tuesday Theotokia Lobsh.
What bodily tongue,
Can describe you,
O holy Virgin,
And Mother of God.
“…but the glory of the heavenly is one thing, and that of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; indeed, star differs from star in glory” (1 Cor. 15:40-41).
What a delight it is to reflect on the unimaginable nature of the heavenly state that we will live in, moreover the great glory that the Virgin Mary will be in amongst all the saints. One may consequently ask how is my life lived now? In the hope, anticipation and delight of the heavenly life, or in the love of the world and its vanities? Let the glory of the Virgin and the saints be a reminder for you, O my soul, that real glory comes from knowing, obeying, loving, and serving God, rather than from any worldly source, and let your heart always be where the real treasure is.
For you became,
A royal throne for the One,
Who is carried,
By the Cherubim.
Blessed indeed are you, O Virgin Mary, for you were like a royal throne beautifully adorned with virtues, bearing the Son of God, our God. This brings to mind the moments when we partake of the Holy Eucharist. For in a different sense, we too become bearers of Christ: “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them” (Jn. 6:56).
Our praise for St. Mary becoming a royal throne for God can serve to remind me of what type of throne I offer Christ when I receive Him in the Eucharist. St. Mary bore Christ in all humility and without pride. Among the countless other things we can learn from St. Mary in preparing to receive Christ, how much more am I in need of offering a throne of humility, attentiveness, and diligence to Christ in the Eucharist?
It is also interesting to learn what we can from some monks who will depart in silence and peace after receiving communion, avoiding disturbances that could spoil their concentration on Christ.
By what means can we bless you,
For you were exalted,
Above all the highest,
And rational natures.
“…for the Father chose you, and the Holy Spirit overshadowed you, and the Son condescended and took flesh from you” (Agpeya, Prime Litany).
Indeed it is difficult to bless St. Mary, after contemplating how God has blessed and exalted her. For God chose her in the fullness of time in order to bring about the wonderful divine plan to save the human race.
“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Is. 9:6).
What an honor it was for our Lady the Mother of God to be a participant with God in the fulfillment of something unprecedented that would affect every human being ever to exist. From this we can learn of the honor that accompanies every service we do, in which the Holy Trinity uses us to touch the life of another person.
Your name is remembered,
Throughout all ages,
O beautiful dove,
And Mother of Christ.
St. Mary the beautiful dove was the very embodiment of Christian peace. Throughout her entire life, beginning from the annunciation, to the various pre and post nativity hardships, throughout the upbringing and ministry of our Lord, and finally through the painful journey of Christ’s passion, she lived with peace from above.
Like the dove that brought the olive branch that was a sign of peace to Noah, so also St. Mary was the dove that bore Christ who is our peace, and He brought to the world God’s peace and reconciliation with humanity.
Rejoice O Mary,
The handmaiden and mother,
For He who is on your lap,
The angels praise.
Christ’s incarnation presented a huge paradox. God the exalted and highest emptied Himself and condescended to take flesh, live amongst us and be treated like a human being. The Omnipotent and Omniscient sat on your lap and depended on your love and care, O mother of God. Thus Christ our Lord has overturned the sinful expectations and standards of man, by coming not as one who is rich or part of an elite social class, but as a meek and lowly servant. Therefore those of us who are wise in their own eyes and self-reliant deprive themselves of the freedom and blessings of humility.
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor. 1:27).
And the Cherubim,
Worship Him befittingly,
And the Seraphim,
They flap their wings,
Saying “This is the king of glory,
Who carries the sins of the world,
According to His great mercy.”
And we too,
Hope to win mercy,
Through your intercessions,
With the Lover of mankind.
The Cherubim are a model for us in the worship of God. Christ tells us how to worship befittingly in conversing with the Samaritan woman: “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him” (Jn 4:23).
Dear Heavenly Father, I beg you as your disciples once did; teach me how to pray.
The Seraphim offer a delightful model of prayer that is in accordance with St. Paul’s words, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17).
What an honor it would be my Lord, if I could learn to join the Seraphim in praising you frequently throughout my daily affairs, until I learn to pray without ceasing. You have shown us that the path of humility and service is a path of glory, by being the King of glory and yet carrying our sins!
Examining ourselves, we find that we are in dire need of God’s mercy, so we call on you, O pure mother of light, to intercede for us, that Christ may grant us His mercy.