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Leave-taking of the Feast of the Annunciation

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Today is the Fourth Sunday in Lent.  Ordinarily the emphasis would be on the commemoration of Saint John Climacus, abbot of Sinai, who by virtue of his writings and his own life, forms a pattern of the true Christian ascetic.  Saint John is the author of  The Ladder of Divine Ascent, one of the spiritual texts appointed to be read in church during Lent.  However,  on this particular Sunday, Saint John only receives passing mention because today marks the Leavetaking of the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos, and this feast takes liturgical precedence over the commemoration of Saint John.

Please see the related article on the Father Quotes page.

The readings below are for Sunday, March 26, 2017:

Today's Epistle reading [Hebrews 2.11-18]:

For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin.  That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying,

"I will proclaim thy name to my brethren,
in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee."

And again,
"I will put my trust in him."

And again,

"Here am I, and the children of God has given me."

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.  For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham.  Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people.  For because he himself has suffered and been tempted he is able to help those who are tempted.


The Gospel reading for today [Luke 1.24-38]:

After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself saying, "Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men"  In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"  But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.  And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;  and of his kingdom there will be no end."  And Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?"  And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you:  therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.  And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.  For with God nothing will be impossible."  And Mary said, "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."  And the angel departed from her.