On the feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos in the Temple, Fr. Matthew Howell explains how the Virgin Mary’s story is the ultimate origin story or prequel–better than Star Wars movies–that ties into the ultimate hero story–the incarnation of the Word of God. He also notes how we need to emulate her entrance into the temple and her desire to be with God in prayer so that His glory descends on our hearts as it did on the tabernacle and Solomon’s temple in the Old Testament. He also talks about why the Canon (Katavasia) for Christmas are sung on this day and what the connection is between the two feasts. Along the way references are made to bringing children to church, the Psalms of Ascent, the idea of keeping a promise made to God, the divine inspiration of Zacharias the priest, John 4, 1 Corinthians 3:16, distractions, resentment, the Gospel of James, and Star Wars.
BRETHREN, the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. For a tent was prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence; it is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain stood a tent called the Holy of Holies, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, which contained a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. These preparations having thus been made, the priests go continually into the outer tent, performing their ritual duties; but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood which he offers for himself and for the errors of the people.
Luke 10:38-42, 11:27-28
At that time, Jesus entered a village; and a woman called Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve you alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.” As he said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”