Augustine Sokolovski, doctor of theology, priest

Августин Соколовски, доктор богословия, священник

Today the Church celebrates the second day of the Annunciation. In the language of the Church, it is called Afterfeast. In ancient times, the Annunciation was considered a holiday of the Lord, since the Annunciation means the celebration of the Church, as a community of faithful, in honor of the economy of salvation. However, unlike other Feasts of the Lord, the celebration of which continues for many days, the celebration of the Annunciation lasts only two days. The reason for this is Great Lent. Therefore, the second day of the Feast of the Annunciation is simultaneously made the Afterfeast of the Annunciation and its Ending. So, already on this second day of the feast, April 8, the Church says farewell to him until next year if it pleases the Almighty God to prolong the existence of the world.

The event of the Annunciation is directly related to salvation, and therefore it is spoken of in the Creed. "I believe in the One Lord Jesus, Christ (...), Incarnate of the Holy Spirit, and Mary the Virgin." 

In the main hymn of the Feast, the troparion, the Annunciation is called the "Beginning" of our salvation. For a long time, it was believed that the date of the celebration, inherited by the Church from antiquity, was chosen by chance. It was believed that it was not historical and was due to those nine months that pass from the moment of conception of a person to his birth, that is, in the case of the Annunciation, it was counted from the Nativity of Christ, the date of which was also considered unhistorical. But theological archeology has recently discovered that part of the biblical messianic view was the belief that the Messiah had to die on the day of his conception. Astronomical science is not omnipotent, but it managed, by the time of calculating the celebration of Easter in the year of the Crucifixion of Jesus, to establish the calendar date of Christ's death, which fell on April 7, that is ... on the Day of the Annunciation. It turns out that the Annunciation is not only the beginning of our salvation, but also its completion. It is the day the world was saved on the Cross. In turn, the traditions of the biblical people spoke of the fact that it was on the day of April 7 that the sacrifice of Abraham was to be performed - a prototype of the substitutionary atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

The word proclaimed by the Angel to Mary turned the course of history upside down. reversing the logic of things, it has modified the essence of the universe. Man differs from the animal world and from the world of nature by conscious knowledge about his own death. The messenger of this knowledge is language. The human word is the Angel of Death, which unites into this knowledge of all people. 

Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary the conception of the Savior of the World by the Holy Spirit. Expelling death from the universe, the Gospel of the Angel and the human response of the Virgin, her consent to the Word of the Angel, transformed the word into ... the place of the Presence of Life. The word becomes a sign, a topos of divine power, an instrument of salvation. By the Word - when the Word of Scripture is signified over water, oil, bread, and wine - the Sacraments are performed. They are signs of the abolition of death and carry life in themselves, give life in abundance (John 10:10). 

All of us are not just involved in this world, but we are flesh from the flesh of our planet. But the world lives its own life, the world goes its own way. He has his eyes, his feelings, his mind, his instincts, his age. The world has grown old, it has grown old. He can't hear very well, he hardly sees. He thinks tiredly. From the instincts he had lost the instinct of self-preservation. Lonely and isolated, the world tries to survive, to survive even at the cost of transforming itself into a pure isolated biological existence. Without the environment, without relatives and friends, without oneself. “Mein krankes Dasein nach Erlösung schreit”, - as Till Lindemann prophetically sings. 

Like any genuine historical event in the history of salvation, the Annunciation must be continually revealed in the history of the world. If this does not happen, then the world begins to rapidly grow old and die. It begins to collapse. Suffering defeat from catastrophes and diseases. The word Annunciation means news. It is synonymous with the Gospel. After the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the proclamation of the Good News, that is, the annunciation, was entrusted to the faithful. And it is fulfilled to the extent that the Church, as a community of the faithful, continues to proclaim the Gospel. “Whatever the soul is in the body, that is the Christians in the world,” says one of the first Christian texts, “The Epistle to Diognetus”. 

We are the World; we are God’s children. Like angels of the Lord Jesus, messengers of the salvific economy of our Lord, we are called to proclaim the annunciation of salvation. We all are invited to proclaim the news that the world has a Lord, and the Lord has come into this world. The world will be saved and renewed. From this world, which is very weak, the Lord will make strong, old - will return youth. He who suffers destruction, the Lord will make abiding. At the end of time God will make the Universe rejoice in the Voice of the Bridegroom (cf. John 3:29). The good news is the annunciation also has an eschatological dimension. According to the Scriptures the Lord Jesus must return. The world must become a new world and the universe is to gain immortality. The Lord Jesus will make it new, young, beautiful. He will make manifest the new face of the world as a mystery. "Rejoice, blessed one, the Lord is with you." In the Blessed Virgin Mary these words became the future of all people.