On Friday, many Orthodox Christians celebrated the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. The Russian Orthodox Church doesn’t celebrate this feast until later this month, but I thought I’d post a brief section from St. John of Damascus’ second homily on the Dormition now:

Today the treasury of life, the abyss of grace (I do not know how I can say these things with my bold, fearless lips) is wrapped in a death that brings life. Undaunted, she draws near to death, having given birth to death’s destroyer–if one may call her departure from the world, so full of holiness and life, a death at all. For how could she, who brimmed over with true life for all, ever become subject to death’s power? Still, she yields to the law established by her own Son, and as a daughter of the old Adam she undergoes the ancestral trial, since even her Son, Life itself, did not refuse it. But as Mother of the living God, it is also right that she should be brought into His presence. For if God was concerned “lest the first human being reach out his hand and take from the tree of life and eat, and live forever…”, how can she, who has received the life that knows no beginning or ending, the life free from the boundaries of both birth and death, not live herself for endless ages? (from On the Dormition of Mary, p.206)

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