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March 25, 2020
Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos
“Today is the beginning of our salvation, / the revelation of the eternal mystery: / the Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin / as Gabriel announces the good tidings of grace. / Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos: / Rejoice, thou who are full of grace, / the Lord is with thee!”
St Tikhon the Confessor, patriarch of Moscow and all Russia and Enlightener of North America (1925)
Venerable Justin (Popovich), archimandrite of Chelije (1979)
Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent; Annunciation Most Holy Theotokos
Gen 9.18-10.1 (Vespers)
The sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.” And he said: “Blessed be the Lord, The God of Shem, And may Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, And may he dwell in the tents of Shem; And may Canaan be his servant.” And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died. Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.
Prov 12.23-13.9 (Vespers)
A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness. The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor. Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad. The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray. The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man’s precious possession. In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death. A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth, But the soul of the unfaithful feeds on violence. He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. A righteous man hates lying, But a wicked man is loathsome and comes to shame. Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, But wickedness overthrows the sinner. There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches. The ransom of a man’s life is his riches, But the poor does not hear rebuke. The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked shall be extinguished. Deceitful souls are led astray in sins, But the righteous have compassion and are merciful.
Heb 2.11-18 (Epistle—Annunciation)
Brethren, both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.” And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.” Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
Luke 1.24-38 (Gospel—Annunciation)
In those days, Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah, conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people. Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible. Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.