Entrance of the Theotokos Nov 21/ Dec 4 Today-s readings, followed by a few pastoral & personal thoughts. Ezekiel 43:27-44:4 27 And when these days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord GOD. 1 Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. 2 Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. 3 It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same. 4 Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell upon my face. This gate is understood by the church to refer to none other than the Holy Theotokos. Her birth-giving was unique among all of mankind, since she bore the ?prince¦, and there would never be another such birth, thus the gate was shut. The closed gate also references her ever-virginity; after the birth of Jesus, she has no more children, and did not even have carnal relations with Joseph. The gate faced east because Christ, referred to here as the ?LORD, the God of Israel¦ is the ?dayspring from the East¦. This is the direction that represents holiness; to this day we situate our altar tables so that when the priest stands before it he faces to the East, and it is the custom to, if it is possible, to have our icon corners face to the East. Our dead are also buried such that they face east, that is, so that if they were to stand up, they would be facing east. In the Second coming, Christ will come from the East. Priest Seraphim Nov 4/17 2008. St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/feasts-of-the-theotokos_+entry-of-the- theotokos.rtf http://www.orthodox.net/scripture/feasts-of-the-theotokos_+entry-of-the- theotokos.pdf New commentaries are posted on our BLOG: http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime Archive of: commentaries: http://www.orthodox.net/scripture Archive of homilies: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL were the text was found. We would love to hear from you with comments!