Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015, has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0
And Mary said “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.”Luke 1:46-48
Good morning Prayer Team!
Through the prayers of the Theotokos, Savior, save us.
This beautiful hymn to the Virgin Mary has often caused confusion to people, as to the appropriate “stature” of the Virgin Mary. We just concluded that “worship” belongs to God alone. We “venerate” the Virgin Mary and praise her as the Mother of God, and as the Spiritual Mother to all of us. Yet it is only Jesus Christ, who saves us. We lean on the Virgin Mary as an Intercessor on our behalf with her Son and our God.
What is an intercessor? One who intervenes on behalf of someone else. Let’s say, hypothetically, that I wanted to get a message to the Ecumenical Patriarch. I do not know the Ecumenical Patriarch. But our Metropolitan knows him, and I know our Metropolitan. So, if I needed to get a message to the Patriarch, I would ask the Metropolitan to intercede on my behalf and deliver my message. Ultimately, the exchange is between me and the Patriarch. It is my need conveyed to him. But it is done using an intercessor, in this case, the Metropolitan, who knows him better than I do.
And this is the role of the Virgin Mary. She knows the Lord Jesus Christ in a closer way than any of us. Yet, the Virgin Mary is a human being, like us, so we relate to her. So, we are asking someone who lived like us, to intercede for us.
To make this even more simple to understand—when you are sick or are having surgery, many times you are asking someone to pray for you, to include their prayers to God on your behalf. If we can ask one another to pray for us, then we should ask first and foremost, the Virgin Mary, to pray for us, to intercede for us. Today’s prayer puts this hymn in reverse order, acknowledging that it is only our Savior who saves us. But we are assisted in the pursuit of our salvation by the intercession of the Virgin Mary, and all the saints.
Save me, my Savior Jesus Christ. Grant me safety and guidance in this life, and salvation in the life that is to come. I ask for the assistance of the Virgin Mary, in the pursuit of my salvation. Through the prayers of the Theotokos, Savior, save me, and us. Amen.
Have a great day!
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The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life. The Prayer Team is a daily devotion written by Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis, the parish priest at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, Florida. Devotions include a verse from scripture, a commentary from Fr. Stavros, and a short prayer that he writes to match the topic.
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