December 26 - Synaxis of the Mother of God or Feast of Mary's Motherhood (Byzantine Church)

Synaxis of Our Queen, the Holy Mother of God

The Synaxis of the Mother of God is probably one of the oldest Marian feast days (5th century). It celebrates Mary as Spiritual Paradise of the "Second Adam," Temple of Divinity, Bridge Between Earth and Heaven, Ladder by which God comes down to Earth and man goes up to Heaven, Mother-of-God who became worthier than the Cherubim, the Seraphim and all the other forces of Heaven; she became "vaster than Heaven" by sheltering Christ in her womb, and therefore becoming the Throne of God. Because of the Blessed Virgin, mankind has been raised higher than the Angels and the body shines with Divine glory. The human spirit becomes giddy faced with such a mystery, preferring to bow down faithfully and prostrate in silence, "because where God desires, the order of nature is overcome." Joseph, the Silent One, lit up by the awesome light that shone in the darkness of the grotto, contemplated the radiant All Holy One seated peacefully near the Child whom she had herself wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in the manger. A new way of life opened up for the human nature; because just as God chose virginity to be born into this world, in the same way, he wants virginity to appear and grow in a spiritual way in the heart of each Christian who tries to imitate the model of the Mother of God in his or her own life.

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