Daily Devotion to the Theotokos
Twenty-seventh Day of the Month
Protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the
Creator most constant, O forsake not the suppliant voice of those who have
sinned; but be thou quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee. Hasten to intercession and speed thou
to supplication, thou who dost ever protect, Theotokos, those who honor
(Theotokion of the Sunday Liturgy)
us contemplate this hymn together, brothers and sisters, for its words are
powerful and full of meaning.
The Virgin was a human, born of the fallen nature like us.
How, then, can we call her a
"protection of Christians?"
a way, all the great saints can be called by us "protectors of
Christians", for, by their great
struggle and cooperation with God's grace, they have defeated
the power of Satan. Filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit and having
Christ abiding in them, they have become a terror to demons. In them we
clearly see the liberation from bondage made possible by Jesus Christ.
Each of their victories has weakened
the power of Satan and undermined the greatness
of the influence of the demons over our human nature. Their victory, through
the grace of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is, to all
who live according to the Orthodox faith, a shield and protection against
the power and deceits of Satan. The
Theotokos is the greatest of all the saints, made
the holiest and most grace-filled of all humanity by God's will. It is
clear, then, that she has the
power of grace and that she, above all the holy servants of God, is a
terror to demons and a weakening of their power. Therefore, she has
been made a "protection of Christians" by the grace of God and
the power and authority of her Son, Jesus Christ.
If the Scripture says, "For there is one God, and one
mediator between God and mankind,
the man Jesus Christ" (l Timothy 2:5), how can we, then refer to the
Holy Virgin as a "mediation unto the Creator".
Ask yourselves, Orthodox people: Is Jesus Christ truly God,
or is He only a "semi-god" or just an especially holy prophet?
If Jesus Christ is God, then how
is He a mediator between God and man?
Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man
because He alone united God and man together. Because He is God and became
also man, He is the one who stood between (mediated) and brought together
God and man; in other
words, in Him, God and man are united as one. Moreover, Christ mediated
our salvation by fulfilling all righteousness for us, thereby re-uniting
each of us with God.
The Virgin Mary is called "mediation" in two
senses: first of all, God became
man through her. The union of the divine and human took place in her
womb, therefore, in this sense, the mediation of our salvation took place
in her. Secondly, by her prayers and
life, and the fact that she has already experienced the victory
over death. She draws us nearer to God, and so in this sense, she is a
mediation, not of our salvation, but of our nearness to God, for she draws
us closer to Him.
Theotokos is a special human being who has been united with God in
a unique way. She is a vessel of
divine grace and, therefore she hears our prayers and
offers us spiritual comfort. The Theotokos aids us in our struggle against
the power and influence of Satan, when we call on her for help.
Like any good Christian, she intercedes and makes
supplication for us, as the Scripture commands (1 Timothy 2:1).
us, therefore, in Orthodox fashion, honor the Most Pure Theotokos as truly
the Mother of our God and Saviour. Let us honor her as the highest of the
human race, a special servant and instrument of God, chosen by Him to serve
in the awesome mystery of our redemption.