Sunday, December 9, 2018

On the Conception of Saint Anna (George of Nicomedia)


By George of Nicomedia

(Excerpt from his ninth century sermon titled "On the Child-b­egetting of Saint Anna".)

We had been made out of nothing by a pure act of the divine goodness, and we were destined to serve our Creator in the earthly Paradise, by the practice of holy works; but, repelling just commands, we drew upon ourselves the punishment of death by our own will. Nevertheless our Creator, acting according to His mercy, promised us our redemption and freedom; but we had to wait for the time appointed and for those who were to deliver us. Ages rolled by, the prophecies were slow in their fulfillment: all the Patriarchs and the Souls of the Just waited in painful expectation. Abraham had passed, and his descendants ardently yearned for the day which would behold the fulfillment of the mystery of Reparation. Moses caught a glimpse of it through the veils of the figures; he hoped to be the happy witness of the great event. That hope crossed the desert, it upheld the Judges, it was again confirmed unto Samuel. David made those of his own time skip with joy by announcing the nearness of its fulfillment. The choir of the Prophets proclaimed in bold accents that the Christ was soon to come forth; but one after another they disappeared deceived in their hope, for the appointed hour had not yet come, and those who were worthy had not yet shown themselves. At last the Creator of all things found unto Himself among His ancestors the worthy instruments of His designs, Anna and Joachim, the parents of Her who was to determine the accomplishment of the promise. To them, therefore, do we owe the Author of our joy and the first pledge of our happiness.


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